A new study by Visual Objects finds that a growing number of consumers are downloading ad blockers much the chagrin of marketers. Research shows the majority of respondents who use ad blockers (51 percent) find video ads the most annoying when browsing online.
The company surveyed 500 consumers who use ad blocker plugins on desktop or mobile. The study included research from Statista finding nearly one in three computers use at least “one form of ad blocker, a number that has doubled since 2014.”
According to the survey, “Over half of respondents (51 percent ) say they are most frustrated by some type of video ad. This statistic includes both videos that appear before content loads (21 percent) and ones that interrupt streaming (30 percent)”
Visual Objects revealed the number one reason people download ad blockers was to “limit interruptions online.” Around 22 percent did so to “increase control over browsing experience,” and 18 percent use it to “eliminate unuseful or irrelevant ads.”
“The sheer volume of ads will actually impact the website experience, particularly the loading time or even functionality,” said Kyle Deming, founder of the web services firm Wojo Design, to Visual Objects.
Around 64 percent of respondents only block ads on their desktop, making mobile a more susceptible platform. The study found its just easier to install on laptops or desktops. Ad blockers began to appear in 2003 and around 65 percent of those surveyed have used an ad blocked for at least a year. There were fewer long-term ad blocker users, about 27 percent have used one for a least five years.
My impression was that [ad blockers] have become popular only recently because users are becoming more tech-fluent,” Deming added. “Installing an ad blocker used to be a really tech-savvy move.”
The study highlighted Google as an example. The company’s Chrome Web Store offers ad blocker apps that are user-friendly. They noted mobile ad blockers are far more scarce.
However, in terms of mobile advertising, experts believe brands should focus their ad spend on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
“By going directly to the platform, you can avoid being stifled by ad blockers,” said Spencer X. Smith, founder of AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, in the Visual Objects report.
According to a study in 2017, around 615 million devices use some form of ad blocking.