For many publishers, advertising is the easiest and most promising way to generate revenue online. For the readers however, online ads are mostly annoying: not only do they distract the attention away from the actual editorial content, but, as it turns out, they also take a heavy toll on mobile readers’ data consumption. According to an analysis conducted by the New York Times, in many cases online ads and scripts account for more than half of the data that is used to load mobile news websites.
Take boston.com as the most extreme example: the amount of data needed to load advertising content is almost four times as large as the data needed to load the site’s editorial content. For mobile device users on limited data, the Times’ results are another good reason to use ad-blocking software. Meanwhile publishers and creators of mobile ads, who were recently alarmed by Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking software on its mobile devices, should focus on increasing the performance of advertising content and thus improving the overall user experience.