Adblocking may be a pressing issue for publishers, but it is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle about who controls news, information and access to the mobile web, and therefore all publishing, revenue and audience on mobile platforms. Last week I gave a talk in Cambridge, as a Humanitas visiting lecturer, on why the increase in mobile use calls for a re-examination of the whole media regulatory environment. In researching it I was surprised to find almost no central policy work which has addressed what is a fundamental shift in power in the media, not just in part of the market but across all of it.
Ensuring we have informed democracies has always trailed some way behind squaring the press as a political aim in formulating media policy. It is not really possible to have a coherent view on adblocking without examining the broader dynamics of information on the mobile web, or the part that companies who lie outside telecoms carrier regulation, such as Apple, Google and Facebook, might play in it.
And a point for publishers to remember could be this: if your business model is totally reliant on something your readers and viewers abhor, then it might be time to think about the sagacity of dismantling it, rather than getting John Whittingdale to protect it.