Common questions about adblock
Entertaining, useful, and respectful ads get blocked along with those annoying ads that are driving the growth of adblock.
Adblock is effective against the majority of native, video, image, and interactive ads.
Adblock is growing across platforms.
Overall adblock penetration per online capita, December 2016:
- United States: 18%
- China: 13%
- United Kingdom: 16%
- Germany: 29%
- Australia: 20%
- Canada: 25%
- France: 11%
- Italy: 17%
- Indonesia: 58%
- India: 28%
Normally when a web page loads the user’s web browser makes requests to servers for editorial and advertising content.
Normal page load without adblock installed.
Adblock extensions have the power to control what requests a web browser makes. They monitor all requests made by the browser and refuse any requests that match an entry contained in a blacklist. The most popular of these advertising blacklists is ‘Easylist’, which is maintained by a large community and updated regularly.
Adblock extension prevents browser making request for ad from ad server.
Space on the web page is now left vacant by ads.
The adblock extensions generally reflow the editorial content to occupy the space vacated by the advertising (using CSS styling).
Content is reflowed to occupy space left by blocked ads.
From the web user’s perspective the result is a cleaner redesign of the web page, and the page loads much faster because no ads are being transferred. From the publisher’s perspective the result is an inability to monetize the web user.
- 38% more women than men indicated concerns about viruses and malware as their main motivation.
- 14% more men than women stated that interruption was their top concern.
- Over 70% of users chose more than one reason as “most important” in their choice to use adblock software.
Outside of security and interruption, user motivation did not vary significantly by demographic segment.
While privacy was a top concern for early adopters of adblock software, it is less so for a mainstream audience.
On mobile connections adblock is also a means of reducing data costs.
- Men are 34% more likely than women to use adblock software on desktop and laptop computers.
- Suburban and urban internet users are 17% more likely to use desktop adblock software than those in rural areas.
- Among 18-24 year olds, bachelor’s degree attainment was 35% among adblock users surveyed, versus 11% according to the US Census (and 26% among the survey pool).
- Across all age groups, bachelor’s degree attainment was 45% among adblock users surveyed, versus 30% according to the US Census (and 40% among the survey pool).
While this is causing short term pain to publishers it actually opens up a new and entirely uncluttered (and zero fraud) segment that brands can reach using PageFair’s ad-serving technology.
Provided publishers and advertisers address this segment respectfully (and address genuine consumer issues of privacy, security, and speed) this growing segment is a boon to brands seeking an uncluttered premium space for above the line brand building.
Today there are two categories of user who visit your site: users of the normal web who see all ads, and users of the blocked web who currently see so ads and are of particular interest to premium advertisers.
Media buyer’s view of the normal segment
- Users have an acute attention deficit because the web is over-cluttered with advertising.
- It is affected by ad fraud.
- The ads these users see tend to be focussed on the bottom of the marketing funnel.
Media buyer’s view of the blocking segment
- There is no advertising clutter. Users see no other ads.
- There is no ad fraud.
- This segment can provide a premium top of funnel tool for brand building.
Explore adblock around the world
Industry reports and white papers
state of the blocked web
Published: February 2017
Adblocking Goes Mobile
Published: May 2016
The Cost of Adblocking
Published: August 2015
Adblocking Goes Mainstream
Published: September 2014
The Rise of Adblocking
Published: August 2013
What To Do About Adblocking
Published: February 2016
Note: written by PageFair for the International News Media Association (INMA). this is an INMA members-only resource.