One of the much-touted features of iOS 9 is the ability to block content, such as ads in the Safari Web browser. And in the wake of the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, apps designed to block ads have soared to the top of the App Store's paid download list.
Peace, a $2.99 ad-blocking app designed by Tumblr co-founder Marco Arment, took the top spot, dethroning Microsoft’s ever-popular “Minecraft.” Similar apps also broke into the top of the paid app charts. Purify, another $3.99 content-blocker designed by developer Chris Aljoudi, sits at fourth place. And the $0.99 Blockr app rose to 17 as of Thursday morning.
I can’t believe I made a #1 top-paid app. I don’t care if it doesn’t last or that it’s not top-grossing. I’m immensely proud. Thank you all.
— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) September 17, 2015
The move to support ad blocking in iOS 9 is a concern for Google and website publishers, which make most of their revenue from Internet ads -- more specifically, mobile and desktop browser ads. But it’s unlikely to affect social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, which rely more on ads within their own apps.
To get around content-blocking apps on desktop, companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola even paid off the developer of Adblock Plus to whitelist their ads in February, according to the Financial Times. Despite the introduction of ad blockers to iOS 9, mobile ad spending is expected to rise 61 percent to $68.7 billion globally, according to eMarketer.