Usage of ad-blocking technologies is taking off at an alarming rate. These technologies effectively make users invisible to digital advertisers, so they do not receive any banner ads, online video, retargeting etc.
In recent years, there has been a 41% YoY growth globally. In the US alone, there are over 45 million users (16% of the US internet population). These are some of the internet’s most informed users, and they are being completely missed by advertisers. So how will publishers, which likely rely on advertising to fund their content, combat this issue? Due to the high adaptability of these open-source technologies, ad blocking is only going to continue to grow. With it, an intensifying publisher response into 2016.
What this means for marketers: Despite the explosive growth in usage, a recent study by Strata shows that only 9% of Ad Agency professionals consider ad-blocking to be a major concern. There are several reasons for this perception, but one of the largest would be that many have no idea of the scale of the issue. As these users were ‘invisible,’ it has been difficult to estimate how prevalent the usage was. The ‘invisibility’ also means that the users are never served ads, which protects advertisers from wasting advertising budgets on this audience. Another reason would be how the issue is currently viewed. Many consider the use of these technologies to be an industry vertical problem due to the audiences that are using them. Ad blocking usage is highly skewed toward younger male demographic. As such, certain internet content (such as gaming or tech), which attracts a more tech savvy young male audience, have seen over 25% of their traffic utilizing ad-blocking.
Insight by Jamie Benelli