The upcoming built-in Google Chrome ‘Ad-Blocker’ may spell the end for torrenting sites, killing off all potential for revenue.
Torrent sites are hubs of illegal media sharing. Using a torrent client program, you can download anything from illegally-obtained movies to the latest music releases – totally free of charge.
According to TorrentFreak, many torrent sites are already struggling to stay afloat, mainly due to the extensive array of ad-blockers already available to browser users.
That’s aside from their inherent illegal nature, which makes them the target of copyright infringement lawsuits, often led by governments.
Now, with what may be the final blow for sites like The Pirate Bay, Google Chrome will soon roll out a built-in ad-blocker. According to TorrentFreak, the type of ads that will be targeted include pop-ups and sticky ads – both pirate site staples.
TorrentFreak has spoken to the anonymous owner of one such site, who says that profits in his industry are at an all-time low. “Chrome’s ad-blocker will kill torrent sites,” the owner says. “If they don’t at least cover their costs, no one is going to use money out of his pocket to keep them alive. I won’t be able to do so at least.”
Google’s blocker won’t necessarily filter out ‘clean’ ads, but that’s irrelevant – pirate sites make their cash by selling advertising space to the dingiest agencies out there.
There is, however, the possibility that advertisers will find a way to bypass the ad-blocker, as they have already done with other versions. Even if they succeed, though, things will continue to slide for torrent sites looking to make any sort of worthwhile revenue.