We’ve been following the new area of content-blocking apps for Apple’s iOS devices, which is being seen as a big challenge to the online (news) publishing industry. The early frontrunner, an app called Peace, was removed from the App Store by its creator after he felt guilty about making money from disrupting other people’s businesses.
The new popular app is called Crystal, though, and its developer seems unfussed by such concerns. In fact, he’s taking a step further in the moneymaking: adding an option where “acceptable” ads will be displayed to users, getting around the blocking. The twist: those companies will have to pay a flat monthly fee to another firm called Eyeo, which in turn will pass on a share of those revenues to Crystal’s developer.
Unsurprisingly, in some quarters this is being seen as a shakedown: forcing brands to pay a new player in the advertising ecosystem to get their ads unblocked, while the impact on the money earned by the sites those ads appear on remains in doubt.