Is Google about to create “premium internet”?
Google is planning to role out new measures that protect users of its market-leading internet browser Chrome from intrusive advertising. In a blog post on Thursday, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, wrote that “it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web, like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page.”
Google doesn’t plan to block all ads on Chrome though – which is not surprising when you consider its position as digital advertising top dog. Rather, it plans to block ads that it consider particularly intrusive. The result would be a browser that offers “premium” internet – everything we’ve currently got, but with less annoyance. Google is no doubt hoping this would bring even more people onto Chrome, increasing its market-lead. This could create a virtuous circle where the most sought after advertisements are the ones that would meet Chrome’s standards.
This pro-activity on Google’s part could shore up its online advertising business, making it even more of a ‘go-to’ solution for companies who want to get the most out of their digital marketing spend. And it could also divert some of the interest that is currently present in ad-blocking technology: plug-ins for desktop browsers that block all ads.
The knock-on effect of undercutting the ad-blocker business is retention of profitability for Google’s core advertising business: if ad-blockers become commonplace, then the value of online advertising decreases dramatically. By subverting this trend, Google can keep digital ads profitable. And, in doing so, it could increase its market share of both web browser and online advertising.
It will also, of course, create a better internet; something that has long been on the mind of co-founder Larry Page. In 2015, he wrote: “the industry needs to do better at producing ads that are less annoying and that are quicker to load. I think we need to do a better job of that as an industry.”
Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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