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How much is your blocked web worth?

It takes effort to design a strategy to monetize your  blocked web, so before embarking on that effort you should know how much new revenue you stand to generate as a result of addressing your blocked web problem. At a high level this is simple:

  1. Determine how many pageviews are being blocked
  2. Determine how much revenue these pageviews would generate if they were not blocked

To determine how many pageviews are being blocked, you need a system that can accurately detect that ads have been blocked (step 1) and then reliably send that information to a system without getting blocked (step 2). Unfortunately, several of the most commonly used adblock detection tools on the market lack this basic ability to accurately measure the number of ad blockers. For example, see this earlier post on our PageFair testing.

Once you have an accurate ad block rate, the next step is to determine how much new revenue you could unlock. This will vary based on many factors including the type of advertising you currently have, the demographics of your website, how valuable or unique your content is, how you communicate with your blocked audience, and what kind of value proposition or deal you offer your ad blocked audience, if any.

Monetizing your blocked audience often means convincing them to accept some form of advertising in exchange for free content, the same as your unblocked web. However, there are other ways of monetizing these users too that do not involve showing ads, such as subscriptions, or giving up some information in the form of registering. Whatever the monetization strategy, there is value locked up in your blocked web and you want to know what the value is.

In a perfect world, you would ask your blocked users to whitelist you, after which they would all agree to do that and thereafter generate the same revenue as your nonblocked users. However in the real world, most users won’t whitelist you just because you ask nicely – you have to do something more than that. Because of that reality, to estimate the potential value of your blocked web you need to:

  1. Calculate the average value of a page view on your nonblocked web – the Revenue Per Mille (RPM) metric encapsulates this concept.
  2. Determine a discount rate you will apply to your RPM, based on what kind of strategy you deploy.

Once you’ve done all of the above, you can finally estimate the value of your blocked web by multiplying these three values together:

  1. Number of ad blocked page views
  2. Revenue per pageview (RPM divided by 1000)
  3. Discount rate for blocked page views

Multiply those three things together and you will have a great estimate of the value you can potentially unlock from your blocked web. Once you know this, you can finally determine and justify how much effort and expense you should invest in monetizing your blocked web. This is ROI 101.

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