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With Ad Blocking on the Rise, Will Publishers Embrace Google's Funding Choices?

What has become abundantly clear recently (if it was not obvious already) is that the Internet - and its success - depends almost exclusively on advertising, but does it have to be this way? Maybe not. 

While users are increasingly turning to ad-blockers, and as that practice quickly becomes as disruptive to the digital ecosystem as one would predict, solutions are emerging to help counter the problem.

Last year, for example, Google announced Funding Choices, a program that was designed to help those publishers with "good ad experiences" recover lost revenue due to ad blocking and it is now adding support for publishers in several more countries and adding a much sought after subscription feature.

How does the Funding Choices program work? Users that are actively blocking ads with an ad blocker are essentially presented messaging by the publisher that enables them to “whitelist” the site.

There are three message options that publishers can present to their website visitors: 1) a dismissible message that does not restrict access to the content, 2) a dismissible message that counts and limits the number of page views that a user is allowed per month (determined by the site owner before content is blocked - image of this is shown below) and finally - and this is the new feature, 3) a message that blocks access to content until the visitor chooses to allows ads on the site (or pays to access the content with either the site's own subscription service or a pass that remove all ads on the site through Google Contributor). 

While Funding Choices is still technically in beta, consdier this: in the last month over 4.5 million visitors who were asked to allow ads said yes, creating over 90 million additional paying page views for those sites.

So is the approach effective?

Google suggests that, on average, publishers using Funding Choices are seeing 16 percent of visitors allow ads on their sites with some seeing rates as high as 37 percent.

Google Funding Choices
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