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While ad spending as a whole is on the rise, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every user will see what the ads in general have to offer. In fact, some have even gone as far as purchasing ad-blocking software — and it’s a number that’s on the rise.
The New York Times reports that many consumers have no trouble downloading the plug-in that enables the blocking of online advertising from their devices. A report put together by Adobe and PageFair suggests that the consequences could be dire for certain companies. The pair estimates that ad-blocking will lead to almost $22 billion in lost advertising revenue for this year alone. Out of those sites most affected by the software, gaming, social network and other tech-enabled pages seem to lead the charge.
It’s scary news for certain companies that look to online advertising to advertise its products, as customers can now avoid them altogether, instead of simply scrolling past them. “What’s causing grave concern for broadcasters and advertisers is video advertising, which is some of their most valuable content, is starting to be blocked,” said Campbell Foster, director of product marketing at Adobe. “That’s a really scary prospect.”
As you can see from the chart above, usage of ad-blocking software has risen dramatically over the years. Almost 200 million people worldwide now use it on a regular basis, with 45 million of them in the United States (15 percent of them in New York and California) and a bigger majority in Europe, around 77 million. Poland is a pretty big part of the picture as well, factoring for nearly a third of the general audience in that country.
One of the bigger companies thriving from ad-block software is Cologne-based Eyeo, which estimates approximately 60 million active users worldwide. That said, the company has provided a way for some advertisers to bypass the blocking software and still advertise to users — for a small price, of course.
Ben Williams, a spokesman for Eyeo, sees no problem with this way of business, stating that the company only permits “acceptable ads” to be viewed, and only ten percent of companies as a whole are allowed to do this. “We’re the only ad-blocker to provide this service,” he stated.
What’s more alarming is that ad-blocking isn’t just for desktop devices — it’s also being used on mobile. Smartphones and tablets alike have more Internet usage than ever before, pushing companies to advertise more to them than by traditional means.
Thus far, mobile ad-blocking isn’t too big of a thing, as both Adobe and PageFair note that it’s being used minimally at best. However, more and more developers are getting on board with creating plug-ins for said devices, with a big “shift to mobile,” according to Sean Blanchfield, chief executive for PageFair. “It will unleash a huge growth spike in people using ad-blockers.”