Adblock Plus keeps popping up in publishers’ worry lists

The problem: with around 198 million active ad-blocker users worldwide — according to a report this August by ad-blocker-tracking startup PageFair — the cost to the publishing industry is estimated to reach $22 billion (£13.9bn) this year, reports Wired. However,  Till Faida has already been obliterating ads for years. “Most of our users are not against ads,” says the CEO of Eyeo, the German startup behind the Adblock Plus extension. “They’re just annoyed by the banners and pop-ups.”

Launched in 2011, Acceptable Ads, a whitelist of more than 1,000 publishers, including Google and Amazon, was Eyeo’s attempt to address this, allowing ads that passed the team’s manual review process.

“About ten percent of the publishers on the whitelist pay us,” says Faida. “By charging these large companies, we can provide it for free to the other 90 percent.”

Not everyone is a supporter. In May 2015 the company defeated the fourth court action brought by publishers — this time by German broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat1 — arguing that the whitelist is anti-competitive.

AdBlock Plus continues to expand regardless. Yet won’t Apple’s new iOS 9 tools make it redundant? “The Apple update will just offer an API to companies like us, which is great news,” laughs Faida. “It will make it a lot easier for us.”