615 million devices used ad-blockers in 2016, intrusive advertising to blame, says PageFair

Most ads on the internet today seem intrusive and irritating, especially on mobile. Thus, it comes as no surprise that a recent survey discovered that use of ad-blockers has gone up significantly since the previous year.


Most ads on the internet today seem intrusive and irritating, especially on mobile. Thus, it comes as no surprise that a recent survey discovered that use of ad-blockers has gone up significantly since the previous year.

PageFair, a company that helps companies deal with ad-blockers, reports that usage of ad-blockers hit 30 percent last year. Business Insider (BI) reports that the survey indicates that 615 million devices were blocking ads last year; 62 percent of those devices were mobile devices.

The report adds that 94 percent of the ad-blocking on mobile devices is taking place in the Asia-Pacific region.

What’s more interesting is that more users claim to be using ad-blockers because ads are an “interruption” than for the “privacy” issues cited in previous years.

Dr Johnny Ryan, PageFair’s Head of Ecosystem tells BI that publishers did not listen to early ad-block users’ concerns. These early users were very much aware of the privacy issues posed by ads and were willing to do something about it.

Ryan believes that if publishers had simply listened to these users and responded accordingly, ad-block wouldn’t be so prevalent as it is today.

In fact, Ryan explains that today, ad-block’s audience has broadened to more than just “young techies” and that the average person is using it. It’s simply more convenient and pleasant.

PageFair’s analysis has also revealed that paywalls and ad-block walls are of little use. An ad-block wall essentially disables access to content when the website detects an ad-blocker. PageFair claims that in these cases, most users simply leave rather than disable their ad-blockers. This has, apparently, resulted in a drop in traffic of between 50-60 percent.

Citing Facebook’s example, Ryan states that the company took in user feedback, responded to it and gave users more control over the ads they see. The company then banned ad-block on the site.

Because the initial groundwork was already done, people apparently didn’t mind Facebook’s new ad system and the company saw a whopping 18 percent jump in revenue from desktop ads on the site.

PageFair’s survey involved 4,626 users on a Google Survey and data from StatCoutner, Internet Live Stats, eMarketer and the US Census Bureau.

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