News Corp set to extend anti ad blocking trial to other metro news sites

News Corp is set to extend its anti ad blocking trial after telling Daily Telegraph readers that stopping adverts was undermining the very journalism they were trying to access.

The publisher targeted Telegraph readers using ad blockers for three weeks in August. This followed a similar trial last year following senior executive Damian Eales warning ad blockers were “destroying” News Corp’s business model.

Last month’s trial saw readers confronted with a pop-up message saying: “This is how we can both win” before asking people to white list the site – which would effectively disable ad blocking technology – or register for free.

They were also told “ads help us provide you with up to the minute news and analysis”.

Delany: trial likely to be rolled out to other metro titles

The number of messages served in the latest trial amounted to the “very low hundreds of thousands”, News Corp News Digital Networks Australia MD Julian Delany said.

“The results were similar to the trial we conducted last year,” he added. He declined to quantify the effect it had on traffic to the site.

Delaney said the idea is not to castigate readers but alert them to the options they have to access content and inform them that advertising is necessary to fund quality journalism.

Allowing readers to continue using ad blocking software by registering their details on the site would provide News Corp with valuable data, he told Mumbrella.

The trial is now expected to be extended to other metro titles in the group, including The Herald-Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Adelaide’s The Advertiser.

All three mastheads will receive similar digital makeovers to the one rolled out to The Daily Telegraph at the end of the August.

That is likely to happen during October and November after which the ad blocking trial is expected to commence.

Delany said News Corp was keen to know if attitudes to ad blocking differed from region and region.

Eales, News Corp’s chief operating officer, publishing, told Mumbrella last year the issue was “significant” and one that “as an industry and as individual companies we need to tackle”.

Damian Eales has previously said that ad blocking is “destroying” News Corp’s business model

“We are funded by a combination of ads and subscription and without that business model we can’t afford to provide this [journalistic] service,” he said.

“The reality is that ad blocking is destroying a key aspect of our business model so we have got to face up to that challenge.”

His words were backed by Delany who said it was a concern for the publisher and its advertising partners irrespective of how many people were bypassing ads.


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