February 24, 2017
Shine Technologies has reversed roles, revealing it will stop selling its popular ad-blocking technology to telecoms companies, and instead launch an advertising service.
The Israeli company backed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing built its name as one of the leading companies in the ad-blocking sector, automatically filtering marketing from the screens of smartphones. Its technology was embedded at the network level and it signed up Three in the UK and Italy and Digicel in the Caribbean to implement blanket-blocking of ads, much to the chagrin of the media sector.
Yet Shine will stop selling ad-blocking software altogether, after rebranding itself as Rainbow and launching a consumer service that offers a “better advertising experience”. Consumers can opt in to the network to only receive ads that comply with industry standards and respect rules around data privacy. Shine, once the scourge of the advertising sector, has even joined the Mobile Marketing Association.
The move comes after a similar move by German company Eyeo, which transformed its Adblock Plus product into an ad network, a move that drew sharp criticism from an advertising industry that accused it of holding publishers hostage.
The developer, whose software had been downloaded 100m times, was accused of starving publishers of critical advertising revenues only for the company to then turn around and sell it back to them. Google and AppNexus, two of the largest digital ad networks, cut ties with Eyeo as a result of its shift.
Shine executives argue they have learnt from Eyeo’s experience and insist they are not launching an advertising network to compete with the likes of Google — although the new multicoloured logo bears similarities to that of the search giant. They say Rainbow will be free for consumers and publishers to use and it will not charge advertisers to validate marketing that is delivered through the service.
The company expects to make money from an insights and analytics product based on network data that can be sold to advertisers.
Rainbow will be launched in the UK towards the end of the summer by Three, which is also owned by Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison. The Israeli company says it has also received a new funding round of “several millions of dollars” from its existing investors to fund the push into advertising.
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