Rapid Increase In Ad-Block Software Usage Could Cost Online Publishers $22B

Rapid Increase In Ad-Block Software Usage Could Cost Online Publishers $22B
Adblock Plus Shawan Zain / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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The usage of ad-blocking software has witnessed a steep increase in the last few years.


Currently, there are 200 million monthly active users (MAU) of ad-block software internationally, as suggested by a study conducted by PageFair and Adobe.

Last year, there was a significantly lower number of people who used ad-block software, which prevents advertisements from appearing on websites through extensions and plug-ins. On June 2015, there were 45 million monthly active users of ad-block software, a number that has increased by almost 50 percent since.

While ad-block was created and initially used by tech-savvy early adopters, its popularity has escalated over the years.

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A report published Monday says the total loss in lost advertising because of ad-block software could amount up to $22 billion.

Sean Blanchfield, CEO of PageFair, said, “The total economic impact was a lot larger than we intuitively thought at the outset of putting the study together. We just didn’t expect to see a number that large.”

Blanchfield added that the spike in the ad-block software users can be attributed to a “growing distrust of the advertising industry.” People have started becoming insecure about how the advertisers are handling their personal data and information collected by tracking online activity.

According to Business Insider, the content type highly influences the usage of ad-block software. For example, video gaming sites more commonly accessed by young males experience a higher ad-block usage than news websites.

The massive increase in ad-block software usage can be attributed to the advent of Google Chrome, introduced in 2009, and its popularity in becoming the most used and preferred internet browser in North America and Europe last year.

Apple’s launch of its latest operating system, iOS 9, will allow developers to design blocking software apps that will be supported by Mobile Safari.

Also read: Mac OS X Bug Soon To Be fixed by Apple

“It could be a real game changer in terms of mobile advertising,” says Blanchfield.

Eyeo, the company that operates AdBlock Plus, is in the process of designing its own browser that will be compatible with iOS 9 and an app that will function on Mobile Safari, as reported by CBC News.

“It’s clear that the next step for ad blocking will be on mobile devices,” says Ben Williams, communications and operations director for Eyeo. “Ad blocking’s growth is a symptom of poor advertising and there’s obvious demand for mobile solutions.”

Williams dismisses the idea that the only way to generate money online is advertising.

“The idea that we can’t find other ways to monetize online is absurd to me,” he says.

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