This Startup Believes ‘Compensation Consent’ Can Save Publishers From Ad Blocking

Sourcepoint chief rethinks content offerings

CANNES, France—Ben Barokas, founder and CEO of publishing software company Sourcepoint, rode a bicycle 40 miles before kicking off his day on the French Riviera and speaking with Adweek. Hey, if you're one of the guys who's supposedly going to save the digital advertising industry from ad blockers, you can't be short on effort. 

Barokas' company is only a year old, but it's garnered many broadcast and cable TV clients in the U.S. and Europe, companies that are looking for ways to offer web consumers content with either less advertising or no advertising. Barokas spoke at the Dmexco marketing conference just three months after launching Sourcepoint last fall, and now he's on the Croisette selling his wares while hoping to gain more business from text-based publishers. 

"It's where one has to be," Barokas said. "And ad blocking has been one of the biggest topics this year."

Here's why: Smartphone owners who use ad-blocking software jumped by 90 percent in the past year, totaling nearly 420 million around the globe. Those figures came from a recent report by PageFair, a startup that helps publishers get around ad blockers, and Priori Data, which tracks mobile apps. Consumers are downloading ad-blocking software such as AdBlock Plus, Adguard and uBlock. Meanwhile, Adaptive Medias and AdSupply are among other Sourcepoint competitors trying to tackle ad blocking.

"In my opinion, there is no beating ad block," Barokas said. "I think we should be very focused on creating these very focused transactions."

Listen to Barokas' theories on how what he calls "compensation consent" can save publishers from ad blocking in the video above. (Warning: While it's super dry ad-tech stuff, it's important for players to think about.)