Ad blocking was a major issue over the past year, and it got a lot of news coverage both within the digital marketing world and with the public in general. A recent report that was published by PageFair found that over this time, the global usage of ad blocking software has gone up by 30%.
This growth makes it so about 11% of Internet users globally are using some type of ad blocking software. To put that into perspective, that is around 600 million devices. If the growth continues at this rate, it could have some very serious implications on how money is generated online.
Currently most ‘free’ services are funded by ads. The most popular sites in the world like Google and Facebook are only available because of advertisements. If the number of people using ad blockers reaches a high enough number, these companies would be forced to change their business model.
Paul Verna, an analyst at eMarketer, commented on this report saying, “Ad blocking is a detriment to the entire advertising ecosystem. The best way for the industry to tackle this problem is to delivery compelling ad experiences that consumers won’t want to block.”
While that is obviously the ideal option, it would require virtually all advertisers to move in that direction. If people see even a few unwanted advertisements, they will still turn to ad blocking software in many cases.
Many people, especially in the developing world, are blocking ads because of the savings on data. Video ads, for example, can quickly eat up the limited amount of data that many consumers have. Ad producers may be smarter to try to address that issue than trying to ‘improve’ the ads that people would see.
Until something changes, however, we can expect to keep seeing the number of people using ad blockers to go up.