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The Current State of Ad Blocking

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Presented by Jonathan Kim: December 2015

The most talked about, hyped, and controversial ad tech today is Ad Blocking. Just how fast is it growing, and how is it going to be dealt with?

This presentation will address the present state of ad blocking while making a few educated guesses on how the online ad industry will evolve from this.

Published in: Marketing

The Current State of Ad Blocking

  1. 1. The Current State of Programmed for TMK Jonathan Kim, Digital Engineering Director 12.10.2015 Ad Blocking
  2. 2. AGENDA • Background and Origin • Current State and Facts • Publisher Response • Looking Forward
  3. 3. ADBLOCK IS OLDER THAN FACEBOOK 2002 2006 2010 2012-14 2015 Student in Copenhagen writes first AdBlock code for the Phoenix browser (now FireFox) as a side project Available on FireFox Available on Chrome Available on Android (‘12), Internet Explorer (‘13), and Safari (‘14) Available on Apple iOS ADBLOCK
  4. 4. HOW DOES IT WORK? A piece of code looks for content on websites that are making requests to known ad servers. The ad is blocked before the call is made, and won’t count as an impression. This means advertisers do not pay for any of this. All ad types are affected besides a small number of Native Ad units, but this will change very fast.
  5. 5. WHY IS IT SO POPULAR? SECURITY PRIVACY WEB EXPERIENCE
  6. 6. NOBODY IS SAFE ONLINE “Everybody should be running adblock software, if only from a safety perspective …” Edward Snowden, Nov. 12 2015
  7. 7. INFILTRATING MACHINES Chrome is the most popular browser today Browser extensions add a lot of utility in so many ways. Like…Ad Blocking! These extensions get updated automatically for ease of use Sometimes, it can take as little as a few hours to create an extension Malvertisers buy out these extensions and mutate them into adware monsters Machines are exposed unknowingly 1 2 3 4 5 6
  8. 8. REPLACING ADS WITH @#$!^% Mutated browser extensions can replace regular ads with fake ads that drive traffic to sites that could install malware or whatever shady purpose set up by the malvertiser
  9. 9. HTTP S A MORE SECURE WEB STARTS WITH brought to you by,
  10. 10. AS FOR WEB EXPERIENCE… TRY IT IT IS AWESOME Just don’t freak out when you’re trying to QA live ads and can’t find them. They’re being blocked.
  11. 11. BY THE NUMBERS ADBLOCK
  12. 12. RAPID ADOPTION 0 50 100 150 200 250 Jan '10 Jan '11 Jan '12 Jan '13 Jan '14 Jun '14 Jan '15 Jun '15 Number of active users in millions (Global, all devices & browsers) Source: Adobe / PageFair AdBlock Plus has over 300 million global installs Ad blocking has grown 41% in the past year
  13. 13. TOP ACTIVE USERS BY COUNTRY 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Poland Greece Sweden Denmark Canada Australia Portugal Finland United Kingdom Spain Source: Adobe / PageFair Europe has the largest user base UK ad blocking increased 82% YoY
  14. 14. GROWTH IN THE U.S. 45 MILLION USERS 48% YoY GROWTH 16% ADOPTION
  15. 15. SITE CATEGORIES WITH ACTIVE AD BLOCKING USERS 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Gaming Social networking Technology/internet Education Sports/recreation Financial services Automotive Search engines/portals Restaurants/dining/food Political/social advocacy Travel Health Personals/dating Real estate Charitable organizations Goernment/legal Source: Adobe / PageFair Global User Data Q2 2015
  16. 16. GLOBAL USAGE BY DEVICE AND BROWSER Chrome is the most popular browser for ad blockers Chrome’s Global Market Share Aug 2015 53% 33% Mobile ad blocking is not an issue yet 2% OF TOTAL BLOCKED ADS IN-APP ADS ARE UNAFFECTED AVG. TIME SPENT MOBILE WEB: 13% IN-APP: 87% Source: ComScore
  17. 17. iOS ENABLES AD BLOCK Timing of Apple’s announcement led to a lot of speculation because… They also introduced the News App with custom advertising capabilities and these ads cannot be blocked
  18. 18. BLOCKING ADBLOCK
  19. 19. BLOCKING CONTENT
  20. 20. PAYING ADBLOCK DEVELOPERS
  21. 21. AD-FREE EXPERIENCE
  22. 22. and THE FUTUREADBLOCK
  23. 23. BOTH SIDES HAVE VALID CASES Source: Adobe / PageFair VS. SECURITY, PRIVACY, EXPERIENCE QUALITY OF CONTENT, PROFIT, THE INTERNET
  24. 24. WILL THIS BE AN IMMEDIATE ISSUE? NO. 41% 11% 7% 53% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Laptop/desktop Mobile Tablet Don't use ad blocking Source: Adobe / PageFair Percentage of internet users who use ad blocking software in the United States as of February 2015, by device Adoption in the U.S. is still skewed towards men below the age of 29 who are technically savvy
  25. 25. ADS ARE HERE TO STAY, BUT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE Publishers paying ad block extension developers is not a viable solution. Blocking content establishes an adversarial wall between publishers and users. Charging money for an ad-free experience will only work for larger companies at a limited capacity.
  26. 26. PREDICTING THE FUTURE Regulation on how many ads unique users are exposed to on each unique site they visit1 Less automation and more custom ad experiences with premium publishers centered around content 2 More cross-app experiences that add utility to the user experience (i.e. using Uber in Google Maps without opening Uber app) 3 Cookie/Device ID-based ad monitoring technology that give users full control over exposure along with the type of data that is shared with advertisers 4
  27. 27. THANK YOU

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