Ad Blocking May Be Chronic But At Least Estimates Are Being Scaled Back

eMarketer scales back its predictions for ad blocking use; Firms battle against ad blockers

Ad blocking has become an important topic to consider for digital publishers, and the conversation has taken on interesting views.

We begin with eMarketer, which has recently changed its predictions for ad blocker usage in the US this year. “eMarketer has scaled back its estimates of ad blocking users in the US, reducing the number to 75.1 million. At that level, more than one-quarter (27.5%) of US internet users will use ad blockers this year.”

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“eMarketer’s previous forecast had projected the ad blocking audience would top 86 million in 2017. While the estimate has been reduced, growth is still significant, at 16.2%.”

The article continues with a look at ad blocking between desktop/laptop and mobile users. “As has long been the case, ad blocking is considerably more common among desktop/laptop users than smartphone users. For smartphones, the incidence of ad blocking remains relatively low, at less than 8%, eMarketer estimates. That’s partly because mobile ad blockers are often not as effective—especially within apps—as they are on desktops and laptops.”

Next, we move to some agencies that have been battling against ad blocking and how that has worked for them.

We begin with Digiday, which is reporting on Incisive Media’s use of ad blockers. “Incisive Media has reduced ad blockers from 25 percent to 9 percent on its tech title, The Inquirer, by restricting content for those with blockers installed. Now the ad blocking rate has leveled off. It’s a similar story for other publishers taking a muscular approach, as they, too, for the most part are no longer seeing a growth in ad blocking. One reason for the dip is that readers are shifting to mobile, where installing ad blockers through web browsers is more complicated. And, importantly, up to 90 percent of time on mobile is spent in apps, where ads can’t be blocked.”

Forbes is reporting on Instart Logic, another agency battling ad blocking. “To disrupt this messy state of affairs, Silicon Valley-based Instart Logic has introduced its Ad Integrity offering – essentially, ‘ad blocker unblocking’ technology that enables publishers to detect whether a user has ad blocking software installed, and if so, still serve them content including ads that ad blockers cannot block, at least by using the blocking approaches in use today.”

“Instart Logic’s platform is an application and content delivery network (CDN) – and yet, the vendor recognizes that basic CDN capabilities have now been commoditized. As a result, it has developed value-added innovations in two broad areas.”

These innovations include “Nanovisor, a lightweight, JavaScript-based virtualization layer for any browser” and “its endpoint-aware application services platform”. These allow the publisher to create a broad range of disruptive offerings.

Are you impressed yet by the level of attention given to ad blocking from both sides? It will be interesting to watch as this evolution continues through 2017.


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