Adblocking on smartphones is a growing trend in emerging markets, study says

Today owning a laptop or desktop computer likely means invoking an adblocker to do away with those pesky pop advertisements, according to the January 2015 PageFair report, “The Cost of Ad Blocking.” 

This report, published in partnership with Adobe, revealed that at the beginning of last year, use of desktop ad blocking software had increased by 48 percent in the United States, 35 percent in Europe, and 41 percent around the world.

Since then, PageFair has released an additional report in partnership with Priori Data, “Adblocking goes Mobile” revealing that at least 419 million people around the world are using adblocking software on their smartphones. Furthermore, there are now twice as many mobile adblockers as there are desktop adblockers.

While desktop adblocking is more popular in North America and Europe, mobile adblocking has taken off in emerging markets such as China, Pakistan, India and Indonesia. According to the report, China has the highest usage of adblocking software totalling approximately 159 million users.

Over the course of 2015, use of adblocking grew by approximately 90 percent, compiling 21 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users. This makes mobile adblocking the most popular form of adblocking in the world.

The report cited several responses from industry leaders expressing concern about the popularity of adblocking in emerging markets, which essentially means that the next wave of internet users may be invisible to digital marketers.

“This research only amplifies our concern in the rise of ad blocking across digital media. The perception that all ads can be blocked is quickly becoming reality as awareness grows. Any channel of consumption is at risk at this point,” said Jason Kint, the CEO of Digital Content Next, in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.

David Chavern, the CEO of the Newspaper Association of America added his voice to the mix, claiming that eventually, whole portions of the population may be excluded from “quality news.”

“If we don’t fix these problems, and we allow ad blockers to take over, then we will be left with small, subscription models that will exclude large portions of the public. Not being able to afford HBO is one thing. Not being able to afford quality news would be a much more serious problem,” said Chavern in a statement.

The report cites several sources, including eMarketer, StatCounter and Digicel for download estimates as well as country estimates were determined by Priori Data.

It’s interesting to note that the 2015 report “The Cost of Adblocking” estimated the loss of global revenue at the hands of blocked advertising to be $21.8 billion. The report estimated the global cost of adblocking to reach $41.4 billion by 2016.

With the large majority of internet browsing shifting to mobile, it’s anyone’s guess how much advertisers are poised to lose as the adoption of mobile adblocking continues to grow, unless digital marketers change their approach.

Image Credit: Joe the Goat Farmer

Related readingOpera adds native ad-blocking to Android mobile app


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