AdBlockers shaking up Customer Experience Market by Peter Kunszt

Núria Villa
Núria Villa
October 7, 2015

I just came across some recent numbers which shows the issue for many session replay solutions in the market.

  • Ad blockers will cost publishers nearly $22 billion in revenue this year
  • 200 million people worldwide regularly block ads
  • Usage increased by 41% globally in the last year

…and that’s the estimate before Apple’s launch of iOS9 on September 16th, which will allow mobile ad blocking on iPhones for the first time.

Ad blockers are an increasingly common feature in the latest versions of all web browsers. Ad blocking has become mainstream with the Firefox plugin NoScript, and there are many similar blockers like AdBlock Plus and Ghostery that also work for all other browsers as a plugin. These browsers also implement the X-Do-Not-Track feature that instructs browsers to stop sending tracking information to third party sites, as explained in this blog. The main problem is that the tracking data is sent to a different domain than the original website data that the user agrees to seeing. All cloud-based tracking services do the same: they use a script to send tracking information to another site. Ad and script blockers can be configured to block any traffic to other sites than the site that the user is natively visiting. This is a huge issue for web analytics and for customer experience tracking as a large fraction of users are not seen through these services and may introduce a significant bias to the results of the analysis. The nature of the bias is totally unknown but it is certain that these users are more technology and security aware than those who do not enable the blockers. And as mentioned above, it may be only a matter of time until AdBlock becomes part of the browser by default, which means that no more data will come at all.

Qumram does not have such an issue. Qumram can integrate with the webpage on site and all data is kept locally or at least initially routed through a local service. Therefore it behaves like native scripts on the site, that the user has no reason not to trust as global site blocking rules would prevent the site itself to be shown.

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Written by Peter Kunszt

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