India has just joined the ad-blocking war! If you recently tried reading news articles online from Indian sources like The Times of India and Hindustan Times and hit a roadblock just because you had installed AdBlock on your computer, this may be the reason.
You might have even come across the below message.
Indian news publications launched this war against readers across the world on June 30. Now, if you have enabled AdBlock to stop the endless stream of advertisements that keep popping up on your computer, you’ll be denied access to read news articles published on their websites.
You will need to turn off ad-blockers to access content of several leading news websites.
Top English language newspapers, The Times of India and The Hindustan Times, are leading this war against ad-blockers and many more news outlets are expected to follow suit. Their justification: Let us serve you with advertisements in order to provide free content. Otherwise, it may come with a cost.
While The Times of India homepage is free to access, once the reader clicks to read an article, it asks the reader to unblock advertisements. On the other hand, Hindustan Times allows an individual to read a few paragraphs before asking them to get rid of their ad-blocker to continue reading the article.
While this is a new phenomenon in India, international websites such as Forbes and Wired have been doing the same for quite a while now.
According to analytics firm PageFair, India has the second-highest number of active ad-blocking users in the world with 122 million people utilizing such software. Ads slow down websites and at the same time increase data usage, reasons why such ad-blocking software are mainly used. Some of the pop-ups are also irritating and hard to close.
Several websites bombard the readers with advertisements. But if you desperately want to read a news article from one of these websites, turn the ad-blocker off only for that one site and go ahead.
But will this new Indian strategy spread across other Asian countries, at a time when media revenues are dwindling down?