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419 million people now use mobile ad blockers, a 90 percent increase from last year

By midian182 ยท 8 replies
May 31, 2016
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  1. While the number of people using ad blocking software on their PCs is continuing to rise at a rapid pace, the percentage of smartphone owners embracing the technology is increasing even faster.

    There are now at least 419 million people preventing ads from appearing on their mobile devices. That figure is equivalent to 22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone owners, according to Ireland-based company PageFair, which provides counter ad block solutions to web publishers.

    PageFair joined forces with mobile app tracking service Priori Data to produce the report, which reveals that just over 400 million people use mobile browsers that block ads by default. These are especially popular in emerging markets across the Asia-Pacific region, where 36 percent of smartphone owners block ads.

    The figure is much lower in the US and Europe, where there were 14 million monthly active users of ad-blocking browsers. Only 2 percent of smartphone-owning Americans – 4.3 million people – use ad blocking technology on their mobile devices. A big difference from the 159 million people in China and 122 million people in India who use it.

    "We found the results surprising because in the West we don’t often consider what’s going on in developing countries," PageFair CEO Sean Blanchfield tells The New York Times. "It’s only a matter of time until mobile ad blocking comes to the West."

    Priori Data chief executive Patrick Kane said that smartphone owners trying to minimize spending on mobile data was the reason behind the popularity of mobile ad blocking in developing markets.

    Last year, another report from PageFair - this one a partnership with Adobe - claimed that ad blocking across all platforms will cost the industry an estimated $21.8 billion in 2015. A study earlier this month by a different company - Juniper Research - claimed that as the technology grows more popular on mobile devices, the figure will increase to $27 billion by 2020.

    In February, UK mobile operator Three announced that it will become the first major carrier in Europe to block ads at a network level after signing a deal with Shine, an Israeli company that specializes in blocking mobile advertising.

    With browsers from Opera and Brave now featuring built-in ad blocking features, the pressure is on publishers and advertisers to come up with solutions that everyone will be reasonably happy with. There are more sites using paywalls, subscriptions, and ads that blockers can’t shut out, but these kind of revenue-generating methods aren't appreciated by most internet users.

    Permalink to story.

  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,911   +593

    I'm turning my ad blocker off when I come here from now on.
    wastedkill likes this.
  3. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +159

    Most ad blockers have whitelists where you can allow certain sites to show their ads.
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,911   +593

    I know....
    veLa likes this.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Guru Posts: 294   +448

    I know there's been an anti-adblock "critical tone" here recently, but ad-blockers are merely the symptom of a far larger problem both off and online - advertisers have zero sense of self-control, self-restraint or self-discipline when it comes to trying to "combat" the loss of effectiveness caused by self inflicted over-saturation with "more coverage" in a never ending downward spiral. Many websites are 80% advert / 20% content. In fact, the below site did extensive testing on all the ad-blockers both vs each other and vs "bare" on some popular sites:-

    Other than the obvious up to 6x increase in load times (to the extent a Pentium will regularly load pages faster with an AdBlock than an i7 will without one), there's also a reduction in CPU usage and upclock/downclock Speedstep jumps and power consumption (which has a huge impact on mobile battery life), plus a halving in memory usage (something 1-2GB RAM tablets / mobiles need more than anything). A reduction in bandwidth (metered connections), a reduction in time reading a less visually cluttered page, a reduction in page scrolling, less stutter when scrolling, browser caches operate more effectively, etc.

    There's actually nothing "unique" about the rise of Internet Ad-Blocking - People use PVR's to skip TV ads, stop going to cinema's due to excessive ads / trailers, start "cord cutting" due to excessive cable TV ads. HTPC's skip "unskippable" trailers on DVD's / Blu-Ray's, etc. When Internet ads were 1-3 static, lightweight, self-hosted JPG's / text links, no-one cared. Now we've got flash, audio, video, javascript, social media affiliates, super-trackers, malvertising, pop-ups, pop-unders, click-jacking (transparent ads), etc, of course people are going to block that cr*p due to the sheer scale of abuse. I don't know what the answer is for sites reliant on online advertising revenue, but I do know advertisers are going to have to reform their business model starting with a simple baseline of "not annoying the sh*t out of everybody, every hour of every day"...
    Reehahs, Agnomen, Ziffel and 4 others like this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,525   +514

    The interesting thing about the fact that people skip ads using a TIVO or something similar is that a few years back, someone did a study on whether there was a "TIVO Effect," which is to say whether skipping commercials on a TIVO had an effect on people's buying habits. What they found was that there was no effect on people's buying habits. Which opened the question of whether TV advertising works at all. AFAIK, no one has yet had the courage to tackle this question because it would shatter worlds. ;)

    Here is a link to the article - http://phys.org/news/2010-12-digital-video-behavior.html

    My guess is that there is a similar non-effect for online advertising that people block with ad-blockers. The type of person that uses an ad-blocker is probably not likely to buy anything even if they were not using the ad-blocker.

    And there is also the problem of spyware, crypto-locker viruses etc., that are spread through online advertising - and the advertisers and sites that host advertising wonder why people block ads. Where's the eyeroll emoticon when you need it.
    Reehahs and Sancticide like this.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,162   +548

    Tell ya what. Too all the websites that use ads, to offset the costs of providing content, once you make ALL of your ads STATIC, up to and including the pop up/under ones, that you have to on a mobile device hunt around, pinch zoom to find the $#*% X to close it, and the ads that AUTOMATICALLY start playing video without any user intervention, THEN I will turn off my mobile ad blocker.
    Using Adguard Plus on my android phone, since 1 January 2016, it has saved 4GB of bandwith, blocked 148605 ads, and 1 threat. Since the mobile carriers (in the USA) charge a premium for bandwith, that's a ton. And, I don't use a lot of data to start with. On average, 3-4 GB per month. If someone is a real data user, you could see how something like a blocker could save a TON of bandwith. Make the ads STATIC and perhaps people won't use them as much. I will sometimes click ads, if it is something that interest me, but, when sites go shoving it in your face, it turns most people off, and delays web load time.
    TekGun and Reehahs like this.
  8. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 328   +98

    I'd also bet that "malvertising" and performance degradation are considerable factors too.
    Ziffel likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,154   +394

    Look I understand the point of ads on a free service, for example this site... but there comes a limit to everyone's patience. I'll tell you what really pisses me off, is ads that automatically play video with audio. Video with mute on default is annoying enough but when you start playing sound I will flip the [expletive] out, often sending a nastygram to the website, and the company trying to sell their crap. If people don't want to look at your ad they aren't going to! You can't force them to want your product. This is something every marketing director needs to learn because in the long run, you are only hurting yourselves.
    Tanstar likes this.

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