Several mobile operators are reportedly planning on blocking ads on their networks.
This is according to the Financial Times, who were told by one European wireless carrier they had installed ad-blocking services in its data centres.
The unnamed carrier said they planned to turn the software on by the end of the year, and a number of their competitors were going to do the same.
This software would block pop-up ads and those appearing on web pages, but would not remove “in-feed” adverts on Twitter or Facebook.
It was developed by Israeli startup Shine, who count Horizon Ventures amongst their shareholders – which is the investment fund of Asia’s richest person, Li Ka-shing.
The CMO of Shine, Roi Carthy told the FT:
“Tens of millions of mobile subscribers around the world will be opting in to ad blocking by the end of the year. If this scales, it could have a devastating impact on the online advertising industry.”
Shine’s software operates as a white label product, allowing carriers to implement it in their own way – whether to offer it as a premium service, or making it opt-in.
Another option being considered by the European carrier is something referred to as “the bomb”, which would see them apply the ad blocking software across their entire network.
Shine also said they are working with another mobile operator that has over 40m subscribers, which will use their software as an opt-in service.
The Israeli company also revealed a major US carrier was planning on implementing the software later this year.
This move by network operators would let them control the flow of ads to users, rather than Google, and could be a huge issue for publishers who make money from mobile ads.
Operators also want to force Google into sharing ad revenue they earn on mobile.
Read the Financial Times report here.