How Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post are Countering Ad Blocking

Amazon and Washington Post CEO Jeff Bezos is known for his unorthodox solutions to problems, and his ideas that seem to shock more than excite. When he announced that Amazon would start using drones for same-day deliveries, most people laughed at the idea. But now, drone delivery services are being developed all over the retail world and Amazon has only begun to scratch the surface of what it can do to impress its customers.

When Bezos bought the Washington Post, people wondered why he would get involved in a business that was struggling so badly. It became obvious that Bezos was not as interested in delivering the news as he was in the challenge of bringing the Post back to prominence. Bezos’ latest challenge is ad blocking for the Post’s digital content, and he is approaching this problem with the same innovative thought process that has made Amazon an international success.

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Ad Blocking Is A Problem

According to The Verge, print advertising used to make up 80 percent of the revenue the average newspaper brought in. People buying print newspapers could not block out the ads, so the readership was fairly captivated.

When digital news transitioned from the larger computer monitors of desktop computers to the smaller smartphone screens, advertising real estate plummeted. When the iPhone iOS9 allowed ad blocking apps to easily be integrated into the user’s experience, the revenue suffered again. Bezos saw that ad blocking could eliminate almost half of his digital advertising revenue, so he came up with a solution in true Bezos-like fashion.

Go Where The Readers Are And The Ad Blocking Is Not

According to Geek Wire, the Washington Post website now blocks users from accessing content if they have an ad blocker active on their browser. If you want to read Post content and block the ads, then you will have to subscribe to the site. This intuitive type of solution is only one way that Bezos is fighting back against ad blockers.

The other method Bezos is using to get his content read and get paid for it is to use media outlets that do not allow ad blockers, but still reach a large audience. For example, the Post can put content on Flipboard or Apple News and get its content read, while avoiding ad blockers. Bezos is also all-in on publishing the Post’s content on Facebook, where the Post gets 100 percent of the ad revenue it generates.

Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post have completely embraced the media alternatives that most newspaper publishers fear will ruin the industry. When Bezos announced that all Washington Post content would be published to Facebook, it raised a few eyebrows. But when these kinds of solutions come from the guy who made drones a household object, it becomes easy to see why so many other publishers are considering using the Bezos approach to bypass ad blocking apps.

What are other strategies, such as recruitment advertising, that publishers can utilize to overcome ad-blocking revenue shortfalls?

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