That ad blocker you love? It's costing publishers a pretty penny

Websites will lose almost $22 billion this year thanks to the ubiquitous tools

PageFair's Adblock Explorer tool.

PageFair's Adblock Explorer tool.

Ads have long been part of the trade-off for users of the free Web, but the rise of ad blockers is making it increasingly difficult for publishers to sustain that ad-supported model.

That's according to a report published Monday by Adobe Systems and PageFair, a startup focused on assessing the cost of ad blocking and proposing alternatives.

While PageFair clearly has a vested interest in illustrating the negative effects of ad blocking, the findings of its study with Adobe are difficult to ignore. Most notably, ad blocking will cost publishers nearly US$22 billion this year, it reported.

Ad blocking has grown by 41 percent globally in the last 12 months, the report found, amounting now to about 198 million active ad-block users around the world.

There were some interesting geographical differences highlighted in the report, too. For instance, in the U.S., ad blocking grew by 48 percent over the preceding 12 months to reach 45 million active users by June. In the U.K., ad blocking grew by 82 percent to reach 12 million active users over that same time frame.

Meanwhile, those numbers will surely be on the rise on the mobile side, Adobe noted in a blog post, given that Apple's iOS 9 will likely include ad-blocking features in Safari by default while Adblock Plus is already available in limited beta for Android.

Ad blocking represents "a major, growing problem for both digital publishers and marketers," said Greg Sterling, vice president for strategy and insights with the Local Search Association.

In many ways, the ad-blocking phenomenon is a response to security and privacy fears that have arisen in the culture at large and a rejection of the state of advertising on the PC internet, Sterling said.

"Many websites have become like Las Vegas casinos, with all kinds of flashing and garish ad units and lots of visual noise on the page," he noted.

Many consumers are sympathetic of the role ads play in supporting online content, but "the industry needs to take this as a wake-up call and do a better job with disclosures about data usage and offer overall better ad quality and ad creative," he said.

Some formats, such as search ads and native ads, are generally not subject to ad blocking, Sterling pointed out, "so we may see a migration to more of these types of formats in tandem with other efforts," he predicted.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileinternetadvertisingmobile applicationsAdobe SystemsInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?