Don’t you hate it when you are surfing the Internet or looking into a website, and massive size of an ad pops up into your browser? Apparently, you are not the only one as 11% of the global population blocked ads on the web in 2016.
Now you might wonder that this is not such a huge number, think again as the global use of ad blocking has seen an increase of 30% on year on year basis from Dec 2015 to Dec 2016.
In case you have been living under a rock for the better part of your life, ad blocking is a type of software that can remove or alter advertising content from a web page, website or a mobile app.
The report published by PageFair reveals that by the end of 2016, 615 million devices ranging from smartphones to tablets, to desktop computers thwart digital advertising on their favorite websites.
Today we do live in the digital world where marketers try to relay their message through online ads, but the rising trend of ignoring and blocking ads can put quite a dent in the ad revenues in the future. Also, companies would need to find other ways to interact with their customers.
Zenith Optimedia, an advertising agency owned by France Publicis predicts that by 2019 social media will make up 20pc of all internet advertising which will be around $50 billion, only 1pc less than newspapers. This change is due to dynamic shift regarding how people gather their news. But due to ad blocking software, publishers around the web are now losing tens of billions of dollars a year in terms of ad revenue leading to layoffs, closures, and annoying paywalls.
However, hold on a minute, before you start blaming the user for destroying the livelihood of the publishers; just remember that they brought it on themselves. For years, they have pushed annoying advertisements to their readers with Flash banner ads, full-screen pop-ups, auto-playing audio (or video) and making sure to fill every inch of white space with an ad.
The use of mobile Adblock is increasing and has taken over the desktop usage as mobile Adblock usage grew by 108 million year-on-year to reach 380 million active users whereas Desktop Adblock usage grew by 34 million year-on-year to reach 236 million active devices globally from Dec 2015 to Dec 2016.
Mobile Adblock usage surged in Asia-Pacific by 40 percent in the last year. In Pakistan, blocking online ads on mobile is also becoming a trend as around 12 million of mobile devices in the country have some kind of ad blocking software. A country where 70pc of web traffic is generated through mobile phones, this number is quite shocking.
The major motivation for using the ad blocking software includes the interruptive ad formats and the threat of virus/malware. Online ads in spite of being annoying can also open up the user to the threat of malicious software or virus planted into their device. Other reasons for people opting ad blocker includes slow website loading time, too many ads on web pages and privacy and tracking by unknown parties.
In Pakistan, Adblock penetration per online capita was 32% in Dec 2016, whereas blocking ads on desktop covered only 2%. The rise in the usage of ad blockers is a clear sign that the traditional way of internet advertising has started to crumble and people are moving on towards advertising blindness i.e. they do not even look at the ads on a website anymore, or they are avoiding it by using an ad blocker.