By Scott Decker

Content Analytics To Vanish With the Ads in iOS 9

Apple Watch

BigContentDaily says:

As a great lover of all things Apple, I’ll admit that I appreciate the way the iPhone, iOS and the Mac in general are a closed environment designed with the user experience in mind. You won’t see bloatware apps or advertising on an iOS device that carriers love to pile onto Android phones.

But the Content Blocking tools that are coming with iOS 9 later this fall give even this Cupertino fanboy pause. While the average mobile user will love the idea of ad blocking (especially since mobile ad units are getting more and more obtrusive), this article notes that these controls will get in the way of standard content analytics tools as well.

That means real problems for publishers and brands that have come to rely on metrics to intelligently drive their content efforts (a Big Content idea for sure) and target it based on user and/or usage data.

Moreover, forget the clever tools like Optimizely and that will lose their capabilities – think of how Google Analytics will be affected, a platform that an enormous number of companies rely upon for their content planning, ad buys, and more.

Could Apple be using the ability to block these content analytics tools (with the excuse of protecting their users from a poor experience) as a thrust in the war with Google? Or maybe Apple’s providing a path that supports subscription services for publishers since their environment can so easily be throttled to only opt-in content? Does that mean then only Apple controls the content analytics?

A controlled content environment could be even more important when you think about the Apple Watch and other wearables Apple may or may not be considering. Consuming content in those spaces is could be unbearable if the advertising gets in the way.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

1fce8a2e078bdfd970397ddd266eab8f_bookmarkImage_1216x608_xlarge_original_1Earlier this week I wrote about the coming hellfire for those who make their money off advertising: content blocking in iOS 9. Issues with ad blocking and publishers being starved of oxygen aside, there’s another big problem on the horizon: mass content blocking will also break important marketing tools used to measure and communicate with customers.

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By Scott Decker
Scott Decker is the CTO and Co-Founder of PublishThis. Before PublishThis, he led technology at, Blue Nile, and development solutions for the government. When he’s not fine-tuning Content IQ, the industry’s most advanced content platform, he’s exploring new technologies, preparing for next Halloween, or watching something with superheroes, dinosaurs, or at least a lot of explosions.

2 Responses to “Content Analytics To Vanish With the Ads in iOS 9”

  1. Denis Morgan

    have a different take on this. Safari on iOS is in danger of becoming unusable. Pages served from popular sites slow to a crawl. The ad content on a text article can be over 15mb. Trackers are topping 30. Users wait as the page fails to load, reports errors and reloads, or crashes the browser and attempts to reload again. The economics are perverse. A reload brings in revenue. Intentional or not(yet) the user is stuck will the bill in terms of time and chargeable data.

    Apples webkit is the ONLY platform of any significance that does not offer content blocking. Its available on Android and all the desktop platform. Is your argument that Apple on its hands and watch as Safari becomes useless? Can you nominate an alternative?

    Site owners can argue with some justification that AdBlockers on other platforms have made it imperative to ‘optimize’ revenue on the remaining users. The problem is, even without a death spiral, bad money drives out good. Users have no way to incentivize a site to cut back on crap, only the all or nothing choice of a subscription. The race to the bottom is vnearly inevitable and Apple had little choice.

    • Thanks for the reply, Denis. While my experience with Safari is far from the unusable one you suggest (yes, ad units blow up sometimes but the browser hasn’t crashed on my iPhone 6 Plus ever), my suggestion is that Apple’s approach to this is more aggressive than we’ve seen on Android phones. I haven’t heard much in the way of people crying foul over content blocking in the Droid world leading the content analytics being affected. Apple may be using the customer experience excuse to push other agendas. Again, despite being an Apple fan, I know they’re really good at using positive messages to do negative things (usually against their competition or to make more money, not to beat up users – although maybe Apple Music is an unpleasant exception there).

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