Ad-blocking software provider AdBlock Plus has recently updated its “About Us” section, revealing for the first time how it makes money.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Taboola were paying the owners of AdBlock Plus considerable amounts of money to get their “acceptable” adverts unblocked.
AdBlock Plus was thought to be charging the companies “30% of the additional revenue created” to put the ads that were deemed trustworthy on its “Acceptable Ads” list.
The company has now confirmed this, adding a new section to its website outlining exactly how the service is monetised.
It says: “We receive some donations from our users, but our main source of revenue comes as part of the Acceptable Ads initiative. Larger entities pay a licensing fee for the whitelisting services requested and provided to them (90% of the licences are granted for free, to smaller entities). It should be noted that the Acceptable Ads criteria must be met independent of the consideration for payments. If the criteria are not met, whitelisting is impossible.”
Although AdBlock Plus has not disclosed the names of companies on its Acceptable Ads list, it has said that 90% of the companies on the list don’t have to pay.
In addition to sharing details about how it’s financed, AdBlock Plus also announced updates to its Acceptable Ads criteria, simplifying the language to make it easier to understand.
Created by Wladimir Palant in 2006, AdBlock Plus is a free extension that allows people to “block annoying ads, disable tracking and block domains known to spread malware”.
Its ability to block adverts from sites is evidently damaging for companies who use online advertising as their main stream of revenue, and has previously been criticised for its business model, which has been described as “extortion”.
Visit AdBlock Plus’ updated “About Us” page here.