When Marco Arment decided to pull the app he developed, Peace, out of Apple's App Store (which previously skyrocketed to the top spot of the App Store's paid app list), another ad-blocking app rose to fame: Crystal. This best-selling iOS ad blocker will however let advertisers pay so that their ads can bypass Crystal's restrictions.
In the week after its September 16 launch, Crystal's developer, Dean Murphy, earned about $75,000 from sales of the app with a $0.99 price tag. But it seems that the number is not enough for the developer.
Murphy signed an agreement with Eyeo GmbH, the maker of the renowned ad-blocking tool Adblock Plus, according to a report. Through the agreement, Eyeo accepts payment from companies in exchange for letting their ads get through the filter of the app.
Eyeo has an "acceptable ads" policy, stipulating that the ads should not be annoying or intrusive.
To date, 70 companies have reportedly paid to Eyeo, including Microsoft and Google.
A spokesperson from Eyeo confirmed that around 700 companies meet the firm's policy. Eyeo did not go into detail about which companies it is working with.
The firm is paying the developer a flat fee every month. Murphy did not specify how much the firm is paying him, but he's expecting that he will receive less money from Eyeo than from his sales on the popular app.
Murphy said he wants people to support publishers, which depend on ads to generate income.
"Given how popular Crystal has become, it doesn't provide any way for users to support publishers," said the developer. "I decided that's a good feature to provide, and from what I've seen, the 'acceptable ads' policy doesn't let through what I'd classify as bad ads."
Meanwhile, a Crystal Twitter account purportedly being managed by Murphy says the company will offer the feature as optional to its users.
@mcdev It’ll be entirely optional when the feature is available. It’s there for people who want to support pubs with non-intrusive ads.
— Crystal App (@_CrystalApp) September 24, 2015
Advertisers argue that if users continue to install ad-blocking apps, it may result in websites charging their users to access their web content or to the shutting down of many websites. A considerable number of sites rely on advertisements in order to generate money.