Popular ad blocker Adblock Plus has revealed for the first time exactly how it makes is money.
The Adblock Plus revenue model has long been a contentious one. Adblock Plus charges some companies to appear on its “Acceptable Ads” list — a white list that allows some un-interruptive ads to be served to its users. But critics have compared this model to everything from “blackmail,” to “extortion” to being like a “Mafia-like advertising network.“
One of the biggest issues among Adblock Plus’ detractors was that it was not transparent enough about how the model works.
That changed on Wednesday.
Adblock Plus’ “about” page now has a section on how the ad blocker is financed.
Confirming a Financial Times article published earlier this year, large entities — which it qualifies as those which gain more than 10 million additional ad impressions each more as a result of being on the Acceptable Ads initiative — are charged “30% of the additional revenue created” by having their ads whitelisted.
Adblock Plus has yet to list exactly which companies are paying to be on the list (which many people may still want to see.) But as Adblock Plus has previously stated, 90% of the companies on the Acceptable Ads list don’t have to pay. But they must all maintain the criteria set out in the list.
On Wednesday, Adblock Plus also announced updates to the Acceptable Ads criteria in order to make it easier to understand — particularly for people who don’t actually work in the advertising industry.
Essentially, the criteria is now written in simpler language and features more visual examples of what’s allowed and what isn’t. Like this example for “placement”:
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