As we did in 2016, Harmelin Media presents the digital trends we see impacting our clients’ business during the coming year. The topics covered last year – CRM retargeting, ad blocking, ad fraud, viewability, Facebook video, location data and programmatic native – continue to remain important today and moving forward. The amount of change we are seeing in the digital world can at times feel overwhelming, but with change comes opportunity. We hope these highlights can educate as well as advance new ideas to be more effective marketers in the coming year.
10) The Effect of Ad Blockers
During 2016, the adoption of ad blockers in the United States increased by 34%, per eMarketer. These technologies have effectively made over 60 million devices invisible to digital advertisers in just the U.S. Although most prevalent with younger demographics, ad blocking continues to see growth across all audiences. That growth is largely driven by users who view digital advertising as intrusive or distracting. These ad blockers are already having an impact on the bottom line as research firm Ovum estimates that publishers lost $24 billion in revenue globally last year due to ad blocking, leading some content providers to shift to paid models.
With the September announcement of a controversial revenue sharing product offering from a leading ad blocking technology, additional attention has shifted to the response of some of the biggest players in digital advertising, Google and Facebook. As we mention in the first trend in this report, the IAB is working to improve user experiences by removing intrusive ad types, which will combat ad blocker adoption. The idea is simply that by reducing the need for ad blocking technology, the prevalence of its usage will also decrease. A recent study by Adobe showed that users have already noticed improvements to quality of digital advertising, but it has not been enough to motivate users to remove pre-existing ad blockers. With 64% of U.S. millennials using ad blockers on at least one device, the industry may not be able to solve the ad blocking issue but hopefully it can at least contain it.