Adrian Peter Tse
Sep 21, 2015

The war on ads: Ad blocker apps rise in Asia

ASIA-PACIFIC - Despite being top of the charts, ad blocker app “Peace” was removed from Apple’s app store. In Asia, another ad blocker app has quickly taken its place at the top of the charts.

Peace” shot up to first place in the Apple store rankings following the release of Apple’s iOS9 last Wednesday. However, the publisher pulled the app from the App Store over the weekend.

According to the app publisher’s website, blocking ads “just didn’t feel good” and the developer also offered a means for users to obtain a refund for the app they purchased for $2.99.

In a blog post, Marco Arment, the developer behind the app, wrote: “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.”

Numerous ad blocker apps are available on Apple's app store

This hasn’t stopped other ad blocker apps from topping the charts in Apple’s App Store. “Crystal”, which allows users to “block ads and browse faster” is currently the most downloaded paid app on the Apple app store.

According to App Annie’s index, “Crystal” comes in at 1st place in Australia and Hong Kong and 2nd place in Japan and Singapore. In India and the Philippines, Crystal comes in at at 4th place in the rankings.

In other parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, ad blocker apps are nowhere to be found in the rankings. In China, the ad blocker for iOS9 is still unavailable.

Campaign Asia-Pacific is investigating the reasons for this and will post an update story.

Ad blocker app, Crystal, is the most downloaded app in Australia as of September 21st, 2015

“In China, it’s hard to say why ad blocker apps are not available yet,” Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixels told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

“Apple is pretty funny in China. It could be that developers are still working on it China or that it hasn’t been approved because the ad blockers are basically trackers, which won’t be allowed by the government,” said Huang. "It could be any number of reasons at this point."  

Watch the video above exploring the implications of Apple's iOS ad blocker on advertising in Asia. 

 

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