Mobile Commerce

Apple Approves App That Will Block Mobile Ads

In what is sure to be the first of many, Apple approved an ad-blocker app that will enable iPhone users to bypass or ignore advertisements from mobile apps, Financial Times reported yesterday (Oct. 6).

Apple’s decision to include ad-blocking capabilities in its latest iOS 9 release sparked a flurry of debate last month, with many wondering about the consequences — both intentional and unintentional — of putting the power to block mobile ads in the hands of consumers.

While ad-blocking has the potential to drive a new wave of innovation in mobile commerce, it is also seen as a new threat to what industry research points to as the fastest growing segment in digital media.

The ad-blocker app Apple has chosen to bring to its mobile devices is Been Choice, which launched in the U.S. earlier this month and is reportedly more powerful than other ad-blocking software on the market, FT said.

Been Choice is able to take ad-blocking capabilities from only reaching Web pages to functioning within native mobile applications by filtering out ads when a user’s Internet traffic data is scanned through a VPN. The app also has the ability to stop certain user data from being collected from various ads.

David Yoon, cofounder of Been Choice, told FT he created the company to provide consumers with “a choice about who gets their data, how it gets used and who benefits from its value.”

But what implications will Apple’s approval of Been Choice have for the app owners who rely heavily on mobile ads?

“We’re getting into dangerous territory,” Ciaran O’Kane, chief executive of Exchange Wire, a digital media analysis company, told FT. “If app developers can’t make money, there’s going to be a kickback.”

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