The Internet Advertising Bureau UK’s Ad Blocking Report, released today, shows that the number of British adults using ad-blockers has risen to 18 per cent. It was 15 per cent when it was last tested in early June.
The survey found that ad-blocking is more prevalent among men surveyed (23 per cent) than women (13 per cent) and the propensity to block ads decreases with age – from 35 per cent of 18-24-year-olds to 13 per cent of those over 55. The majority are doing so on laptops (71 per cent) and desktop PCs (47 per cent).
The way to address this problem appears to be creating fewer ads that are less invasive – 48 per cent of ad-blocker users said they would be less likely to use ad-blockers if ads did not interfere with what they were doing and 36 per cent if there were fewer ads on a page. Only 14 per cent said they would be less likely to block ads if they were more relevant.
Guy Phillipson, the IAB UK’s chief executive, said: “The small rise in people blocking ads is not unexpected considering the publicity it’s been receiving.
“However, it does provide some perspective on the situation for those referring to an ‘adblockalypse.’ More importantly, it also provides a clear message to the industry – a less invasive, lighter ad experience is absolutely vital to address the main cause of ad blocking.”
When told that ad-blocking means some websites will have to stop providing free content or charge people to use them, 61 per cent of British adults online said they would prefer to access content for free and see ads than pay to access content.
Phillipson said: “The other key tactic to reduce ad blocking is making consumers more aware of the consequences – what we call the ‘value exchange.’ If more people realise content is only free because ads pay for it, then fewer people will be inclined to block ads. Only four per cent are willing to face the other option – paying for content with no ads.”
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