India has officially become part of the ad-blocking war which is now being waged by news publications against readers across the world. Major sites in the country are now blocking readers from accessing their content unless they turn off their ad blockers.
The shift towards such a system began on June 30. India’s top English language newspapers The Times of India and The Hindustan Times are among the sites asking people to switch off their ad blockers, with many more likely to follow. The former is letting readers view their main page, but kicks the system into place once they click on an article.
On the other hand, The Hindustan Times allows an individual to read a few paragraphs before asking them to get rid of their ad-block to continue reading the article. India is just the latest country to wade its way into the ad-blocking debate. Websites across the world like Forbes and Wired have been doing the same for quite a while now.
As per analytics firm PageFair, Indian has the second-highest number of active ad-blocking users in the world with 122 million people utilizing such software. It’s behind only China (159 million) in terms of numbers. There’s a good reason for India’s high ranking, since ads slow most sites down dramatically and cause consumers to incur higher data costs.
Data connectivity in India can be unreliable, which is why installing an ad-blocker to speed up loading time and saving on costs is an important issue for most Indians. Many sites bombard users with ads and track their location, infringing on their privacy. On the publisher side of things, ad blockers result in them losing significant chunks of their revenue.
It looks like the India’s internet population will just have to brace themselves for an ad apocalypse if they want to continue reading their favorite sites.