The Strategist

British newspapers warn Apple against introducing ad-blocking feature

05/13/2024 - 14:46

The Financial Times reports that Apple has received warnings from the British News Media Association regarding the potential impact of adding an online ad blocking capability to iOS 18 on the financial viability of journalism.

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The Financial Times cited a letter the UK's News Media group (NMA) issued to Apple's head of government relations in the UK, which says that the group has cautioned Apple about the harm to the long-term financial viability of journalism should it implement an online ad blocking feature in iOS 18. According to the newspaper, The Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph are just a few of the 900 national, regional, and local media that the Association claims to represent.

The newspaper notes that Apple intends to provide a "web eraser" tool in the upcoming operating system upgrade, which will enable users to alter and remove certain web page elements, such as advertising banners. 

The new feature is currently undergoing testing; if approved, users would have the ability to delete advertising banners, images, text, and even entire areas of the page at whim. This information was reported by Apple Insider website in late April, citing sources familiar with the update. 

The NMA pointed out that "advertising is a key source of revenue for many publishers," but the tool's debut might have an impact on journalism's digital income.