One thing is becoming abundantly clear – the industry is facing its greatest ever fight against ad-blocking software. With each and every passing year, more Internet users are turning to increasingly sophisticated software to block the kinds of ads that are generally considered a nuisance. Of course, the standard response with regard to the issue is that of making sure you as a business provide useful and generally better ads that consumers will not try to block. Suffice to say however, this isn’t exactly as easy as it sounds on paper and there’s no single silver bullet solution.
In any case though, something has to be done – many things, perhaps. According to the latest research carried out by Forecaster eMarketer, somewhere in the region of 70 million Internet users in the United States alone are using ad-blocking software right now. Which in turn means that when compared to this time last year, the figure has increased a whopping 35%. Not only this, but by the same time next year, researchers expected to be at least 87 million users in North America using ad-blocking software.
On a global basis, the figures are even more unnerving. In the summer of 2015, a report from Adobe and PageFair stated that while there were approximately 21 million Internet users globally using ad-blocking software in 2009, this had spiked to an extraordinary 200 million by 2015. As of today, it is estimated that the global total ad-blocking Internet user population is somewhere in the region of 420 million.
Or to put it another way, use of ad-blocking software has increased two-fold in no longer than a year. As far as mobile device users go, research suggests that close to one in four (22%) of those who access the Internet by way of mobile device now also block ads. The fastest growing arena overall in terms of new development in ad-blocking has turned out to be mobile. According to PageFair, there are now no less than “45 different ad-blocking browsers available for download on iOS and Android.”
Interestingly, the biggest group of Internet users making use of ad-blocking software is located in Asia, with Europe and the United States falling somewhat behind. Nevertheless, it is estimated that one in every three Internet users in North America will be using ad-blocking software by the end of 2017.
Their collective research also brought to light a number of interesting findings with regard to specific demographics. For example, those who use ad-blocking software on mobile devices were found to be mostly between 25 and 54 years old. In addition, mobile Internet users actively using ad-blocking software tended to have higher incomes than their counterparts. Caucasians were found to be less likely to use mobile ad-blocking software than Hispanics or African Americans, while mobile blockers in general were found to be more likely to have children than desktop blockers.
All extremely interesting insights which point to the same conclusion – it’s time to take a second, much more intensive look at the way you approach your own advertising strategies.