Over the past year, ad blocking software has gotten a lot of coverage because of the fact that it was becoming possible to block ads on a growing number of mobile devices. This led to a spike in the number of people using these ad blockers, and a significant growth in the worry that many advertisers and publishers had about what would happen if usage of ad blockers spread significantly.
According to a new report released from IAB Australia, however, that worry might be unfounded. The report found that while the awareness of ad blockers has risen from 59% to 63% over the past year, usage has actually dropped slightly. Just 25% of Australian respondents said they have used an ad blocker, compared to 27% when a survey was done back in October.
IAB Australia CEO, Vijay Solanki, commented, “Whilst it is positive news that the use of ad blocking appears to be stabilizing in Australia, it is imperative that the advertising industry continues to double down on our efforts to evolve and improve the ad experience for consumers. As mobile emerges as the channel of choice for many consumers, it will be key to ensure that mobile advertising respects the close relationship that a consumer has with their mobile phones and adheres to the principles of providing lighter, relevant and higher quality advertising experiences.”
The drop in ad blocking usage occurred on both mobile and desktop devices, which is also important. Only 6% of mobile devices had ad blocking software in Australia in October, and that dropped to 5% with the new report.
While the drops are small, it is a good step in the right direction, and may be an indication that the concern over ad blockers was at least somewhat unfounded. Of course, this is still a threat to be aware of for anyone in the industry.