Report claims ad blocking will cost industry an estimated $21.8 billion in 2015


Posts: 6,786   +61
Staff member

A report has found that the use of ad blockers has grown 41 percent in the past year and estimates it will cost the industry $21.8 billion globally in lost advertising revenue in 2015. It goes on to warn that the software now poses a significant threat to the future of free content on the web.

The cost of ad blocking’ study from PageFair and Adobe said that almost 200 million monthly internet users are now deploying browser extensions that block ads. It went on to say that sites targeted at "young, technically savvy, or more male audiences" are the most affected by ad blockers.

The rate of ad blocking varies country by country. The US has an estimated 45 million monthly active ad block users - still some way behind Europe's 77 million users. Greece has the highest rate of ad block usage in Europe, with 36.7% of internet users in the country utilizing the software.

Sean Blanchfield, the co-founder and chief executive at PageFair, said: "It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy. With ad blocking going mobile, there’s an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse."

The report explains that the use of ad blockers, which are still primarily found on desktop and laptop browsers, has started to spread to mobile devices in Asia. The trend is likely to increase worldwide in September, as Apple plans to introduce ad blocking support to the Safari mobile browser for iOS 9.

PageFair, which provides counter ad block solutions to web publishers, has been tracking the growth of ad blocking for three years. The company provides publishers with analytics to measure how many of their visitors are blocking ads, and works with the makers of ad block plugins in order to display ‘non-intrusive’ ads to those who use ad blocking software.

Industry giant Adobe is backing PageFair’s attempts to circumvent ad blocking browser extensions. “By working with PageFair, our goal with this research is to shed light on the effects of ad blocking so the industry can develop better solutions for content publishers, advertisers and consumers alike,” said Campbell Foster, a director of product marketing at Adobe.

Image credit: maraga / shutterstock

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Posts: 3,320   +2,068
The amount of ads and pop-ups are insane. If advertisers took a conservative and creative approach to ads, it would be a different story. But when you're receiving 2-3 pop-ups per site, glaring/flashing graphics, embedded in the content of the website - just total in your face stuff - I'm not interested.

The advertisers can cry all they want about lost revenue with how ads are promoted these days. Do it right and you'll get your revenue back.


Posts: 8,645   +3,289
I understand the concept of making your money but ads have become insane on a lot of websites over the past 2-3 years. I customize my block to allow sites to make some money but mot ruin my experience.
Remember they only make money if you click on them and buy something.


Posts: 70   +53
Rules for advertisement

1) no audio in banner ads
2) banner ads should be positioned out of the way
3) video ads should be shorter the 10 secs
4) video ads better tell me who they are in the first 2 secs.
5) no more then 2 banner ads

please tell me what you think. (add, remove, edit)


Posts: 2,297   +1,805
This reminds me of the music and music industry counting downloaded songs and movies as lost revenue. In all my years using a computer I don't think I've ever bought a single thing from an ad in the browser do people really fall for it? The only time I will buy is when I'm going to a specific site and I'm just looking for the best price like PC gear online, but my intention was to buy before I even opened the browser. So how does your ads getting blocked mean lost revenue I would have never bought anything from you anyways!

If is just me or do a lot of you guys click on those banner ads then whip out your credit card?


Posts: 1,882   +467
And let the arguing commence! lol

The only thing that adblock has taken away from their revenue is the ones that I've accidently clicked on, because either they popped up in the middle of the page I was viewing or they just automatically popped up.

Both of which I was close out of immediately, I'm not sure how they calculated that value, but I think its been dramatisized in their favor. Less people click this **** than they think, and the people who do, dont realize they never really wanted to click it in the first place.


Posts: 263   +205
Dishonest hypocrites will never be short of excuses, why they have a right to take away any stuff they desire for free.

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
More interesting would be a report that could track how many users intentionally AVOID and REJECT companies that constantly use pop up's and other annoying ads. I'm betting the losses are a lot MORE than a few billion dollars ... A LOT MORE.......

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,747   +1,547
"ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses"

Not true. This is a restriction on potential revenues - not generating losses - doing something stupid in business (like spending revenues which not realized or antagonizing your market with intrusive ads) is what produces losses.

The choice for me is to use Ad Block plus and accept some advertising OR to skip using an intrusive site by blacklisting.

Please tell me which you prefer that I should do, Mr. Blanchfield.

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,171   +758
Well I don't want video ads at all. Got a pretty slow internet connection.

Not only that but ad providers are a great attack vector for large scale browser infection. Proven time and time again. It's simply great web security policy to block ad providers.


Posts: 239   +61
It has become so ridiculous. I did a search on Nutri-Bullet and the next time I log on Nutri-Bullet ads are splattered all over my browser. I looked up Rowdy Roddy Piper and I got ads for wrestlers that died to soon on my next log in. This and one or two other sites are the only ones that I don't have ABP on.


Posts: 329   +174
The problem is that websites ABUSED ads (animations, sounds, video (!)... lots of ads covering the entire page). So we had to defend ourselves against this attack by using ad-blockers, plain and simple.

You can always whitelist TRUSTED sites that serve relevant and unobstrusive ads.

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,036   +3,167
There is NO WAY to calculate lost revenue from Ad Blockers... same way there is NO WAY to calculate lost revenue due to piracy... just because someone blocks an ad, doesn't mean they were going to click on it and buy something!!

Same with downloading a song - just because I illegally download something doesn't mean I was going to buy it...

Let's get an honest attempt at least... give me the advertising revenue every year - and then let me see if it's going up or down since ad-blocking came into widespread use... we can't get an exact number, but at least we can see trends...

With piracy, for instance, trends have still showed sales going UP.... which leads me to believe piracy isn't costing the billions of dollars they say it is...


Posts: 3,674   +3,668
It's not that ad blocking is going to cost them 22 billion dollars, it's that ads have become so invasive and annoying that the internet becomes unusable without ad blocking software. I allow ads on sites I frequent(techspot being one of them), but when you're searching multiple pages for something on google just about everyone one of them wants you to watch an ad or login into facebook. I'm sure that if ads were more subtle and not so in your face a larger portion of people wouldn't use ad block. However, these popups and auto play videos on many sites is just too much. It seems like half of browsing the internet is downloading ads.

They need to lose 22 billion dollars, show them that people aren't going to put up with the kind of ads that are being shoved down our throats. I do hope more people allow ads on websites that they support since that is a large portion of what makes content free. Although by the time someone downloads an at blocker for the first time they'll never want to see an ad again.


Posts: 98   +27
On behalf of the entire internet, allow me to state the impossibly obvious:

Zero f***$ given.
You do not speak for the internet. Websites need to make money as well. We'll see if you care when there's no "internet"

And no, I'm not a website owner. I'm just one of those consumers who aren't completely ignorant...


You do not speak for the internet.

If my statement didn't speak for the aggregate, this thread wouldn't exist.

I'm just one of those consumers who aren't completely ignorant...

Exactly. You're worse. You're one of those consumers who has it all figured out.

People don't like ads. They're intrusive and poorly targeted. So, they block them. When the ads are run unintrusively by a trusted source and are targeted well, they are unblocked and often clicked.

If companies and websites want to move people away from Adblock, they need to stop hawking product like crazed drug dealers. But if all they can do is tell me and everyone else to spend money on things we don't need: cry more.


Posts: 26   +17
What advertisers don't understand, is that no one wants to use ad-block. It's just that ads are so obnoxious, it's worth searching for an ad-block program.

Advertisers need to understand that ads are optional. If anyone isn't using it, it's purely out of kindness. If only there was a standard for ads (to keep the file size and invasiveness down).