Anti-adblock startup secures $400,000 funding. Pagefair helps publishers see which adverts are being blocked by consumers – a major problem for big web publishers.
- theguardian.com, article by Alex Hern, 27 March 2014
A screenshot from an Adblock Plus promotional video
PageFair, an Irish startup which helps websites deal with adblocking, has secured $400,000 in new financing.
Founded in August 2012, the company allows websites to access detailed analytics about precisely how many of their visitors are blocking adverts – and attempt to convince them to turn off ad blocking software.
PageFair’s analytics show that around one in five visitors to client websites are blocking adverts, and the company warns that that blocking “prevents websites from making money, and can cause them to go out of business”.
The company is used by more than 1,000 publishers, and the newly secured seed funding will be used to establish it in the US clusters where its publisher partners are based, according to co-founder Sean Blanchfield.
Sites which sign up for PageFair are given an analytics system precisely aimed at determining how many visitors are blocking ads, as well as a supplemental advertising system that displays adverts to adblockers only. The idea is that websites use those supplemental ads to ask visitors to turn off ad blocking software, appealing to their better nature and laying out the economic difficulty with operating in an environment where ad blocking is commonplace.
The investment in PageFair highlights how ad blockers are becoming a major problem for many ad-funded websites. A large site, serving around 10m page views per day with three ads per page, could lose about $20,000 each day to blocking software, according to Blanchard.
But with the rise of the mobile web, publishers have a temporary lifeline. The proportion of users blocking adverts on mobile devices is an order of magnitude lower: a May 2012 study from ClarityRay puts it at just 2% of Android users and 1% of iOS users.