Life After Content Blocking | Monday Note

Life After Content Blocking; Jean-Louis Gassée; In Monday Note; 2015-08-31.


  • Apple News
    • Apple’s iOS 9 News app
  • ad-supported business model
    • echo chambers
    • <quote> Too many sites are just echo chambers, they rewrite news releases, add strong adjectives and adverbs, and a bit of spin. Competition for attention, pageviews, and advertising dollars drives them to shout from the rooftops. </quote>
  • industry-level revenue accounting, print-paper news industry
    • BIA/Kelsey
    • Newspaper Association of America
    • Pew Research Center
  • Subscriptions
  • Acceptable Ads, whitelist, in Ad Block Plus by Eyeo
    <quote> It also led to whitelisting, a “feature” that I can’t but call an extortion racket. Adblock Plus from Eyeo GmbH maintains a whitelist of the “good guys”, advertisers who pay to be let through the gates. Large companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Taboola pay AdBlock Plus to lift the ad barrier. Lovely, especially for small, marginally profitable companies who can’t afford the bribe.</quote>
  • Everything You Need To Know About iOS 9’s New Content Blockers; ; In TechCrunch; 2015-08-28; slideware, 11 slides.
    tl;dr →linkbait fluff, rewritten news releases, recitation of company names, strong adjectives & adverbs.


New Breed of Digital Publishers Just Say No to Ad Tech | WSJ

New Breed of Digital Publishers Just Say No to Ad Tech; Mike Shields; In The Wall Street Journal  (WSJ); 2015-07-28.


  • <quote>advertisers have been drawn to this new breed of social-centric, millennial-focus set of sites. For the time being, many are treating this category as distinct from the automated, data-driven, ad tech world.</quote>
  • Contrarians opine late in the piece that programmatic is here to stay, the “new ones” variously have
    • too much venture money
    • have not faced tough markets
    • inability to scale, haven’t reached that stage yet
    • focus on editorial, internal focus via analytics


For color, background & verisimilitude…

  • Scott Grimes, chief executive, Woven Digital.
  • Chris Altchek, chief executive,
  • Ed Montes, chief revenue officer, DataXu.
  • Seth Rogin, chief revenue officer, Mashable,
  • Susan Bidel, staff, Forrester Research.
  • Eric Franchi, co-founder, Undertone.
  • Gian LaVecchia, managing partner, MEC.


  • BuzzFeed
  • Mic (
  • Outbrain, a chumbucketer
  • Taboola, a chumbucketer
  • Refinery29
  • Undertone, an ad network.
  • Vox Media
  • Woven Digital
    • Uproxx, a site
    • Scott Grimes, chief executive, Woven Digital


Roughly in order of appearance


Exploring the World Through Content-Recommendation Ads | Digiday

; Exploring the World Through Content-Recommendation Ads; In Digiday; 2013-12-18.


<quote>It was all publishers driving traffic to ad-heavy pages.</quote>

<quote>The takeaway from my adventure was this: Content-marketing widgets are dominated by scantily clad celebrities and low-rent advertisers. No surprise there. Are big-name advertisers and publishers making use of content-recommendation services? Yes, some. But the majority of the links they feature appear to drive users to long-tail sites rammed full of ads or subscriptions to dubious-looking online content services.
Perhaps my journey through the content recommendation ecosystem was an abnormal one. Perhaps others find great value in the content they’re served by the companies mentioned above. Or perhaps the majority of publishers and advertisers using them just aren’t what many would consider “premium.”</quote>