Consumer usage of ad blockers is rising steeply with the global installed base set to crack 200 million. The bad news for brands and even more so for traditional online publishers is that next year blocked ads will represent nearly $40 billion in lost potential revenue.

Don’t worry, it gets worse. The early adopters of ad blocking are punching above their weight. While they represent only six per cent of the global internet population, their ad blocking habits account for 14 per cent of the global ad spend according to the study by Pagefair and  digital marketing specialist Adobe called “The cost of Ad Blocking”.

And ever ready as we are to kick someone when they’re down, the report suggests that growth in ad blockers is set to rise. The study says ad blocking browser plug-ins and apps will begin to show up on popular mobile platforms (Apple’s upcoming iOS 9 might allow third-party adblocking tools), which will drive a steady rise in the months to come.

The study’s author’s note, “Whichever side of the debate you’re on, this report indicates that the practice is picking up. PageFair, whose main business is products that circumvent adblocking tools, notes that it’s gone up by 48 percent since 2014 in the US and by 82 percent in the UK.”

Some description

Furthermore they say that while mobile devices accounted for 38 percent of all browsing in the second quarter of 2015, PageFair says that it served less than two percent of its alternative ads on phones and tablets.

Among the key finding of the report;

  • Globally, the number of people using ad blocking software grew by 41 per cent year over year.
  • 16 per cent of the US online population blocked ads during Q2 2015.
  • Ad block usage in the United States grew 48 per cent during the past year, increasing to 45 million monthly active users (MAUs) during Q2 2015.
  • Ad block usage in Europe grew by 35 per cent during the past year, increasing to 77 million monthly active users during Q2 2015.
  • The estimated loss of global revenue due to blocked advertising during 2015 was $21.8B.
  • With the ability to block ads becoming an option on the new iOS 9, mobile is starting to get into the ad blocking game. Currently Firefox and Chrome lead the mobile space with 93 per cent share of mobile ad blocking

No wonder ad tech vendors are running away from the term ad tech faster than you can whisper “retargeting”.

“Ad block usage in the United States resulted in an estimated $5.8B in blocked revenue during 2014. It is expected to cost $10.7B in 2015 and $20.3B in 2016. The global cost of ad blocking is expected to be $41.4B by 2016.”

Previous post

Online FMCG sales to hit $130B by 2025: Kantar World Panel

Next post

Data and the not-so-secret lives of us