Freewall Project

Freewall Project



Category Best Idea to Grow Advertising Sales or Retain Advertising Clients

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The main objective was to prove that Aftonbladet produces journalism that our users are willing to pay for. The overall measurable goal of The Freewall Project was to reduce ad blockers to >10% of the page views on desktop, but without losing more then 50% of the unique user that had ad blocker installed. Users who are paying for a digital subscription (Aftonbladet Plus) and has an ad blocker was excluded from the project.

The user that meets the Freewall have five options: 1) Whitelist Aftonbladet in your Adblocker or remove your ad blocker all together. 2) Log in to Aftonbladet. If you already have a Plus membership the Freewall will go away. 3) Buy an Aftonbladet Plus subscription and the Freewall will go away. 4) Go to the start page. 5) Leave Aftonbladet altogether.

In the beginning of November 2017 we launched the Freewall, an anti ad blocker solution, on the sport section of Aftonbladet (image 1). The decision to start with the sports section was based on the fact that sports is one of Aftonbladets most profiled sections and our belief was that the user would see the value in seeing ads in order to be able to read the content. The results gave the indications needed and in late December the Freewall was rolled out to all pages on Aftonbladet with the only exclusion being the main start page (image 2). 

Results for this campaign

In September 2017 Aftonbladet had an average of 20% of page views with an active ad blocker (image 3) and on the sport section the average was 30% of page views with active ad blocker (image 4).

The first objective was to get the ad blocker ration on page views below 10%.

Two months after the roll out on the sports section, ad block ratio has gone down from 30% to 12,9% of page views (image 4). On Aftonbladet overall the ad block ratio is down from 20% to 9,5% four weeks after the roll our (image 3).

The second objective was to not loose more the 50% of the unique user that had an active ad blocker. From the first release of Sportbladet we saw no decrease in unique users visiting the Aftonbladet sports section per week. After the release to all of Aftonbladet we have seen a decrease around 10% in unique users per week from the weeks previous to the launch, however the weeks during and right after Christmas and new years are always relatively poor traffic weeks.

Other, secondary, results we have seen from the Freewall are the number of user login in and users buying a subscription to Aftonbladet Plus. Since the full launch the Freewall drives just under 4000 logins (image 5) and 40 subscription sales per week (image 6).

The decrease in page views with ad blocker has for Aftonbladet an estimated worth of 1,7 mEUR/year at this point in time.


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