On Wednesday, Apple released version 9 of its IOS software. Most of the updates are under the hood with one notable exception, the ability to block ads on your iPhone (iPhone 5S and later). Why would you want to do this? In general it speeds up browsing, you often use less data from your mobile plan, and it can make many websites easier to use.
In order to block ads you have to download an ad blocking application and then activate it in your iPhone Settings. I tried this process, and found that it made browsing the web much better on my iPhone. That also means many ads on local media like the Park Record and KPCW will probably be blocked.
The good news for KPCW is that they don’t really have traditional ads, so it appears there shouldn’t be much impact on their website/revenue. However, Park Record’s website (both their mobile version and desktop version on mobile) had all ads stripped. From a user experience, I found it much more appealing. I didn’t have to wait for that incessant ad about a home auction that continually popped up before and it freed up space at the bottom of the screen. From a Park Record perspective, this will lead to a drop in ad views. I have no idea how big this market is for them, but it’s likely many people only access Park Record through their iPhone.
My experience is that if you do like to browse Park Record from your iPhone, you’ll want to pick an ad-blocker wisely. I tried two of the top ranked content blockers, Crystal and Peace. Crystal is a free option, but the Park Record mobile website breaks when you try to view a specific article. Peace costs a few dollars but works perfectly with www.parkrecord.com.
The other thing to mention is the ethics of using an ad blocker. Park Record employs reporters that obviously get paid to do what they do. Any impact to revenue can impact their ability to do their job and provide reporting about Park City. So, you may want to consider spending the $50 a year to subscribe, in order to continue supporting them.
So far, I really like blocking ads. I probably won’t go back to browsing the web without it. Those people who have recent iPhones may want to give an ad blocker a try.