Ad Blocking on Mobile Higher Than Ever
It appears that smartphone owners are using ad blocking software more than ever before and it is proving to be a problem for advertisers and publishers alike.
A new report out from PageFair, for example, indicates that use of ad blocking software has risen by an incredible 90 percent over the past year and is currentlyt being used by nearly 420 million people worldwide (or one out of every five smartphone users).
The report from PageFair, a solution which helps publishers get around ad blocking software, shows that mobile ad blockers have grown very popular in emerging markets like China, India, and Pakistan. In fact, some thirty-six percent of smartphone owners in the Asia-Pacific region now block ads on the mobile Web, including nearly two-thirds of all smartphone owners in India and Indonesia. Mobile ad blockers are less popular in Europe and North America, where 14 million people regularly use them (4.3 million Americans — or around 2 percent of the smartphone owning population — use mobile ad blockers, compared with 159 million people in China).
The Pagefair report suggests that ad blockers are popular in emerging countries because they help reduce load times and bandwidth use, thereby cutting spending on data plans. Ad blocking browsers have become the dominant form on smartphones, PageFair says, with 408 million global users as of March 2016.
"Mobile adblocking is a serious threat to the future of media and journalism in emerging markets, where people are coming online for the first time via relatively expensive or slow mobile connections," the report released this week says. "Usage in western economies is likely to grow as more manufacturers and browsers start to include adblocking as a feature."
There are, of course, options available in addition to solutions like PageFair for those looking to continue monetizing their mobile properties.
Adblock Plus and Flattr, for example, announced in early May the Flattr Plus solution, a way for users to automatically contribute money in exchange for the content they consume on the Web. What Flattr Plus offers that is different from Flattr and other micropayment donation schemes is that instead of manually funding specific pieces of content (Flattr requires manually hitting a button to contribute money for an article, podcast, song, video, game, and so on), users set a monthly budget for the content you consume. Flattr Plus then uses an algorithm to automatically apportion the users budget based on which websites they engage with the most during that month.
It should be crystal clear that ad blocking is disruptive for both publishers and advertisers so expect to see an increase in solutions to address the issue in the months and years to come.