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Ad blockers will cost publishers $27 billion by 2020 as technology makes its way to mobile devices

By midian182 ยท 27 replies
May 12, 2016
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  1. The use of ad blockers is increasing, and according to a new study by UK-based analyst firm Juniper Research, things are going to get a lot worse for publishers. It claims that the technology will cost the industry about $27 billion dollars by 2020.

    According to a report by Pagefair, there were 198 million people using adblockers in August 2015, representing a 41 percent year-on-year rise. Over the next five years, the technology is expected to become even more sophisticated.

    Juniper Research’s study – Worldwide Digital Advertising: 2016-2020 – warns that smaller publishers who rely solely on advertising revenue face the biggest threat from the increasing use of ad blockers.

    One new headache for publishers could be the introduction of ad blockers inside of apps. Right now, their use is limited to web browsers, but the report says they're likely to expand to applications in the future.

    It’s also claimed that while most ad blockers are confined to desktops and laptops, more consumers are using them on mobile devices. "Smartphone users will be able to experience faster page load times, creating a better user experience. Much like desktop browsing, consumers will also be less likely to have their personal data shared with third parties,” said Juniper Research’s report.

    Opera has already released a stable edition of its browser that features built-in ad-blocking technology, and other browsers, such as Firefox, are working on the same thing. There’s also Brave’s ad-blocking method, which replaces some ads with its own - a system that has been called “blatantly illegal” by publishers.

    As long as there are ads, people will use ad blockers. But one upcoming product - the result of a collaboration between AdBlock Plus maker Eyeo and Microdonation provider Flattr - could offer a solution that makes everyone happy. Flattr Plus will let people allocate a monthly budget that's used to pay publishers based on how often users engage with their sites.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,611   +1,824

    This is what they get for pushing malware and obtrusive ads onto people's machines. It started by disabling flash, now we require adblockers. I mean, have you tried to view the web without an adblocker these days? on some sites it's nearly impossible! So much junk, pop ups, full screen ads, autoplaying videos, all slowing down the browser, taking up precious metered bandwidth, and posing a security risk.

    It's not a matter of convenience, it's a matter of security and usability. until these ad companies pull their cranium out of their rear and start taking security seriously, and until web companies push back against obtrusive ads, the adblock wars will only get hotter.
  3. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 588   +499

    I would have no problems with advertising if only the advertising networks were policed properly. But, as it stands now, they're not being policed properly. Often you hear of someone getting their system infected because of some malicious ad on a trusted web site such as the NYTimes.

    I use an adblocker (specifically uBlock Origin) because it keeps my system clean, virus free, and keeps data usage down. Oh, and did I mention virus free?
    H3llion, Sancticide, OgnDulk and 2 others like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,580   +5,139

    This is what happens when everyone graduating wants to be a publisher. They blame the ad-blockers instead of everyone's empty hands. Adblocking or not, there is only so much to go around. If a publisher can't make it with or without adblocking, they should consider a career change.
  5. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,135   +1,218

    I'm guilty. I use an adblocker. I've been whacked 3 times by malware in the feed - on AAA sites - well established commercial sites. I can't stand it when a flashing pop-up takes over my audio and blasts my ears or sneaks into a hidden page and lies in ambush. Cost me several anxious hours. P!!!!d me off. Makes me think I'm screwing up.

    After a couple of months, I relented slightly - to Ad Blocker Plus - which is still a bit riskier than I should like because I am unsure of their real commitment to keep the feed clean.

    Maybe they need to look at their business model again - heavily p!!!!d off customers does NOT make money..
    OgnDulk, wiyosaya and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. Here's what the future is for publishers:

    1. Those who strike deals with readers will survive.
    2. Those who ditch ads and sell products will survive.
    3. Writers who can't sell (see 2) will be out of work.
    4. Publishers that don't do (1) or (2) will mostly die off.

    Now do what you know you have to, Techspot. Put those damn hardware reviews behind a pay wall and add me to your affiliate program.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,960   +2,293

    The ads in my Web browser take uo more data than the page I'm looking at. I can't afford to pay for the data that ads are using. This is the advertisers fault. They created a need for ad blockers and now they have to deal with the consequences.
  8. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +309

    It's a shame that advertising is what keeps journalism alive.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,580   +5,139

    Then maybe journalism needs to demand cleaner advertising.
  10. Silvernine

    Silvernine TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +41

    I see quite a few people here and there talk about ads which causes adwares and malwares to be installed but few also talked about performance impact. I have a computer that has 16 GB of ram and an AMD FX-8320 CPU so it's not a problem yet the change in computer performance (or specifically application performance) is noticeable with and without an adblocker. It's even more noticeable on my parents computers where they have weaker CPUs and lower amount of RAM. For quite some time, my mother had trouble browsing the web with her computer (Win7, Core2 Duo, and only 1GB of RAM). She can now browse the internet quite a lot easier now once I installed an adblocker even though an adblocker itself consumes a decent amount of RAM. The same for my father's computer with similar specs but higher amount of RAM. Too many websites just slather ads all over and ends up bringing the user experiences down for their site. Most people won't have high performance computers so when websites just loads tons of ads onto their sites like this, they shouldn't be surprised that people get upset. There was even a site once that I stumbled upon that slathered flash ads all over the page. Talk about fun...
    ikesmasher likes this.
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,823   +2,669

    I've been saying for nearly a decade that the web of the future will look like magazine sales. You'll pay a modest fee to access a group of sites you pick from a big menu. They'll be tiered pricing, with packages that include larger numbers of sites costing more but delivering better value the bigger the package. For example, I would happily pay $10 for a bi-monthly subscription to Technews and nine other sites...and I would still tolerate a modest amount of interest-based advertising without the use of trackers. In other words, it should be just like a magazine but with very few ads. A tasteful and relatively small static banner or sidebar ad on every page would be tolerable. Show me unobtrusive ads I might actually care about, don't track me outside your first-party network and I will gladly pay a small fee for the privilege. Partner up with good online retailers of items tailored to the interests of your readers and some of those static ads can show the latest hot deals. Let's get back to the days before hyper-monetization put everyone''s privacy and sanity at risk.
    Raoul Duke and TomSEA like this.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,144   +1,651

    I've used AdBlocker for the last 2-3 years and felt a little guilty about it recently, so turned it off to do my usual web browsing and it was INSANE. I couldn't believe the amount of intrusive ads and slowdown's I was experiencing. Not to mention I have a seriously powerful hand-built rig which should be able to handle anything thrown at it. Can't imagine what it would be like surfing the web with a low-end machine and no ad blocker.

    After a couple of hours, AdBlocker was turned back on and until advertisers figure out a way to keep ads from interfering with my computer usage and annoying the hell out of me, it's going to stay on.

    I would have no problem paying a reasonable monthly fee as psycros described above. Someone just needs to get smart and put that kind of a system together.
    ikesmasher, Sancticide and wiyosaya like this.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,193   +2,476

    I am only going to echo the comments of everyone else. To me, the internet is not the goose that laid the golden egg for "publishers." It is all about performance and data usage and that just like the argument against unsolicited commercial e-mail, advertising costs the end users more than it costs a "publisher" to put up their site.

    As I see it, unless the "publishers" realize that the goose cannot lay an infinite number of golden eggs, people will use ad blockers. Not one of these "articles" ever seems to mention the cost to the end user - for some, it is the extra time the web site takes to load, for others, it is the extra data cost. And for even others still, it is an infected PC that becomes unusable.

    I use AdBlock Plus with the Element Hiding Helper. Unlike others, so it seems, I have built my own list of items to block rather than subscribe to any of the existing lists that Ad Block Plus publishes. IMHO, it is not all that hard to do, and well worth it due to concerns about the integrity of ABP's canned lists.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. OgnDulk

    OgnDulk TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +6

    Note to advertisers, I'm prone to avoid any product pushed in my face without my consent. I've never been asked whether I want advertising on every website. here's an idea, if I want your product I can find it with a google search and I will hunt you down if I want your product or service.
  15. I don't need an adblocker, it must be the small list of sites that I go to over and over again. As far as web ads go, when I thinking of purchasing something, I do research, from the manufacturer, google up some reviews, then if I buy it,l I go to where I buy it (in the city or online). I have never, ever clicked an ad in a webpage and bought something. Despite how targeted the ads are (say I'm at Campagnolo looking at bike parts) suddenly the bicycle related pages I view are flooded with their ads. It's the shop in my city I'm going to go buy the stuff at. Some ad that appears has zero effect. Total waste for them, total waste for me, utterly useless.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  16. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Maniac Posts: 228   +161

    Look I block ad domains from my router with squidguard. I don't even know whats out there and I am well within my rights to still not know what ad's are out there. I blame the advertisers. They used a simple to block method to deliver their wares(z?). Too bad you based your whole business on this. Maybe you should learn how the internet works first.

    Until I see an oversite organization who watches the advertisers for malware in their ad-stream they leave me little option but to block them, easily, and forever.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. Sancticide

    Sancticide TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +18

    Exactly, and how much will malvertising cost consumers and businesses by 2020? If they had stuck to text and banner ads and properly vetted the ads, I doubt ad-blockers would've exploded as much as they have over the last few years.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,477   +644

    Since when does viewing an ad = a sale?

    how do they determine these numbers?

    its like the movie industry claiming lost revenue for people downloading movies that would have never purchased them or gone to see them.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    Raoul Duke, BMfan, Ziffel and 2 others like this.
  19. GACrabill

    GACrabill TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +9

    Here's the article that I want to read : "Ad blockers will save consumers $270 billion by 2020 in regained man-hours due to faster loads of almost all internet traffic."
    Ziffel, wiyosaya and Icysoul like this.
  20. Ziffel

    Ziffel TS Booster Posts: 75   +62

    Made up number is made up. These are what I call propaganda stats.
  21. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,284   +1,280

    To everyone who commented here, a wide majority of which appears to be using an ad blocker, I would like to get some honest answers from you. Thanks for your feedback:

    1) Do you whitelist any websites or simply block everything everywhere?

    2) Many of you talk about intrusive and potentially hazardous ads. Did you ever see that on TechSpot?

    3) Would you whitelist TechSpot or other sites if we adhere to a code of 'acceptable' ads?
    FYI, already we don't do most of the ugly stuff (pops, interstitials, welcome ads, etc.), if you're logged in you see even less ads, mostly banners.

    4) 95% of TechSpot funding comes from advertising, evidently ad blocking hurts us. But if you don't want to see ads, would you ever consider a subscription (~$3/mo) acceptable to remove all ads and get additional perks? What kind of perks would be attractive, or conversely nothing would it passable to you?
  22. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,422   +635

    Except for the once-in-a-blue-moon errant ad, I don't have a particular problem with the way ads are currently presented on TechSpot. I don't happen to use ad blockers either, FWIW.
  23. Arturas

    Arturas TS Rookie

    1) No, I use global blocking rules. While a particular site might not show malware/virus/video/loud ads today, there's no telling what they are going to show tomorrow.

    2) Haven't experienced any hazardous ads. YET!

    3) As I said, I use global block lists because a good ad today might be replaced by malware tomorrow. (don't know the difference between logged in and out, just registered today to comment, but been "lurking" around for quite a long time)

    4) Since the content quality here is high, $3/mo seems like a reasonable price. I mean, people these days spend that much or even more on failed kickstarters/pre-alpha video games and all kinds of 6 months-late pre-orders.
  24. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,284   +1,280

  25. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    If techspot stuck to a code, it would definitely encoarage whitelisting. Another issue that needs resolving is performance though - I'm not often browsing on a powerful PC and whenever I try to whitelist many sites the ads are either so animation/flash/etc heavy or there are so many of them that it causes hang time. I'll probably whitelist techspot, mostly just hasn't occurred to me as whitelisting rarely happens on my end and I usually regret it when I do.

    As for subscriptions, I could probably justify 10$ a year for just ad removal. Other perks could make me pay $3 or more a month just depending. Exclusive deals would be a cool thing, even if just on obscure enthusiast PC parts or something. Just a thought I had.
    H3llion likes this.

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