February 17, 2016
These days there are more ad blockers than most people have had hot dinners. The most popular ad blocking companies now hold all the power, and have completely changed the landscape of digital advertising.
In an aim to monetise their service, some ad blocking providers are essentially blackmailing companies into paying up, in order to be added a white list of allowed adverts:
- Ad blocking was estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015.
- There are now over 200 million active ad block users around the world.
- Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months.
- Ad blocking is more prevalent in Europe (10%-38%) than the United States (10%-17%).
- Millennials are disproportionately using ad blockers – notably men.
- US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in 12 months up to June 2015.
- UK ad blocking grew by 82% to reach 12 million active users in 12 months up to June 2015.
A former Google employee, Ben Barokas, who founded Sourcepoint, has secured $10 Million from investors to fight back against ad block users and has developed an ‘Ad block blocker’. As the name suggests, it prevents users from using ad blockers, which is an occurrence that has recently been tested out on Forbes readers.
As you may or may not have guessed, developers have already developed an ‘Ad block blocker blocker’ that hides your ad blocker from sites that ban the use of ad blockers. (Are you still with me?)
How long will it be until we see an ‘ad block blocker blocker blocker’?
I hope it never comes to that, but I fear it will. I believe the money and time would be better invested into finding out why people want to block ads in the first place, so that the practice is improved.
It is now down to brands to come up with a strategy to try and get users to allow the ads displayed on their site through their ad blockers. This will only be achieved when sites pay more attention to the ads they display, who they’re being served to, and the effect the ads have on user experience.
It is no coincidence that social sites like Facebook are an effective means to advertise online. Facebook’s strict advertising policy, advanced targeting, and a focus on user experience are all part of the reason the platform has so successfully disrupted the digital advertising landscape.
So social ads and sponsored posts are a short-term fix for brands, but do you think there is a longer term solution? Let us know in the comments, or join our webinar if you need award-winning advice on advertising on social channels.