Ad blocking is a growing problem. What’s the fix?
And millions of people seem to agree. They’ve installed extensions to their web browsers that delete the ads from most, if not all, of of the sites they visit. One popular ad blocker, AdBlock Plus, claims that it’s been installed on people’s browsers more than 400 million times and that it counts “close to 50 to 60 million active users,” said Ben Williams, communications and operations director at Eyeo, the company that makes AdBlock Plus.
Ad blocking isn’t a new issue. People have been installing these extensions for years. But those people were considered a fringe group. But that group is getting closer to the mainstream as kids who grew up browsing the web on their parents’ computers are getting their own laptops that they can customise all the way.
“It didn’t really exist in any significant usage… I never heard about it until this year. I thought it was some very fringe-type thing, and it’s becoming less fringe usage and more early-adopter usage,” said DailyMail CEO Jon Steinberg.
Twenty-eight percent of people in the U.S. who use the internet browse the web with ad blocking enabled, according to a survey of 1,621 people conducted last year by Adobe and PageFair, a company that sells publishers technology to fight ad blockers.
And advertisers’ target audience du jour — millennials — appear to be more likely to use ad blockers than any other age group. Of the survey respondents who were between the ages of 18 and 29 years old, 41 per cent said they use ad blockers. As further evidence ad blocking isn’t abating, Mr. Williams said AdBlock Plus has averaged 2.3 million downloads a week since 2013.
Ad blocking hasn’t become a massive problem for publishers on the level of fraudulent traffic or advertisers’ ad viewability demands that require more urgent attention because of the growing notion that marketers will pull their money over those two issues. But it’s getting there.
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