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The State of AdBlockers

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7 Facts About Ad Blocking That
Could Change the Shape of
Your 2016 Digital Strategy

Published in: Marketing
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The State of AdBlockers

  1. 1. 7 Facts About Ad Blocking That Could Change the Shape of Your 2016 Digital Strategy The State of Ad Block, 2015 Part I
  2. 2. 1 2 5 8 10 12 14 15 17 Introduction The ad block apocalypse is not here yet. Consumers who use ad blockers are invisible to ad servers. The highest ad block usage in the United States sits at 16.4 percent—for now. Mobile ad block has opened the doors to mass adoption. For a peek at the future of ad blocking, look at Asia. Ad blockers spread like a virus. People who use ad blockers don’t hate all ads-they hate specific kinds of ads. Conclusion Table of Contents
  3. 3. 1 Introduction The word is out. Consumers hate obtrusive ads, like this un-skippable, full-screen video ad on the homepage of The New York Times. Not only is the ad obscenely large and unrelated to the content, it also takes 23 seconds to load—23 long seconds that the reader spends seething as annoyance with the brand and publisher builds. Because digital advertising has become so pushy and pervasive, consumers are installing ad blockers in record numbers. And because consumers are flocking to ad blockers, it’s essential to consider the latest trends in ad blocking when planning next year’s digital advertising strategy. In this eBook, based on a webinar by TapInfluence featuring PageFair and informed by data presented in PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 Ad Blocking Report, learn the seven facts you need to know about the state of ad blocking today so that you can make smart budget choices, reduce waste, and improve ROI tomorrow. *All data and infographics presented in this eBook are taken directly from the 2015 PageFair-Adobe Ad Blocking Report.
  4. 4. 2 The ad block apocalypse is not here yet. 1. Hype around ad blocking is on the rise, due in part to Apple’s recent ad block friendly iOS9 update and the release of the joint PageFair/ Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report. Quelling fears about the rise, Dr. Johnny Ryan, head of ecosystem at PageFair, offered words of reassurance to marketers who tuned in to a recent TapInfluence webinar on the topic.
  5. 5. 3 “Ad blocking is not growing exponentially; it’s growing linearly, on a pretty straight line from 2013 to 2015,” he said. “It may be that the straight line continues, indicating strong growth. The sky won’t fall tomorrow though.” -PageFair Global monthly active ad blocking software users (desktop) Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  6. 6. 4 Even so, Dr. Ryan worries that the recent hype may prevent the industry from taking a mature view of the problem and may hinder solutions. “We might just spend a lot of time thinking about [ad blocking] now and then stop thinking about it in just a few months,” he said. The 2015 Ad Blocking Report by Adobe and PageFair revealed: 48% of growth in US ad block usage during the 12 months preceding June 2015 Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  7. 7. 5 Consumers who use ad blockers are invisible to ad servers. 2. Did you know? Ad blockers don’t just “hide” your ads from a consumer’s browser; they actually hide the consumer’s presence from the ad server, so neither you nor the site owner knows the consumer was there. Check out the difference between what happens when people with and without an ad blocker visit a site you’re advertising on.
  8. 8. 6 Regular User When a consumer without an ad blocker opens a page you advertise on, the browser sends two requests: one to the web server for page content, the other to the ad server for ad content. Both servers receive and respond to the requests, returning their respective page and ad content to the browser.
  9. 9. 7 When an ad blocker user opens a page you advertise on, the browser still sends two requests: one to the web server and one to the ad server. The difference is that the ad blocker acts like a firewall, preventing the browser’s requests for ads from ever reaching the ad server. Although you’re not losing money on wasted calls to the ad server—imagine if ad blockers let requests to ad servers through but blocked returning ad content—you may be wasting money on the development and placement of ads that growing numbers of consumers may never see. Ad Block User
  10. 10. 8 The highest ad block usage in the United States sits at 16.4 percent— for now. 3. Although the technology has been around for 10 years, ad block usage still does not exceed 20 percent in the United States. According to PageFair, consumers in Oregon use ad block the most, while consumers in Washington, D.C. use it the least—perhaps because consumers in Washington are surfing on government systems that don’t allow ad block usage. Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  11. 11. 9 “Ad block usage is much higher in Europe, with rates as high as 36.7 percent in Greece and 34.9 percent in Poland. High rates in those areas suggest that the U.S. may eventually see one third of its web users blocking ads, too.” -PageFair Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  12. 12. 10 Almost all data available on ad blocking concerns users on desktop browsers— Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer—because, until recently, ad block for mobile browsers barely existed, accounting for only two percent of all ad blocking usage. Firefox was one of the first browsers to allow consumers to install extensions on mobile devices, and, according to PageFair, 16 percent of people using Firefox mobile had installed an ad blocker as of June 2015. Mobile ad block has opened the doors to mass adoption 4. Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  13. 13. 11 “But now that Apple has enabled ad block for mobile Safari, ad block is more available than ever. And it’s going to grow: mobile Safari represents 52 percent of the mobile browsing market.” -PageFair Reports are that within 24 hours of introducing iOS9, ad blockers became the top three most popular downloads in the Apple app store. It’s easy to see ad block reaching a 16 percent penetration in iOS9 in the near future. Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  14. 14. 12 For a peek at the future of ad blocking, look at Asia. 5.
  15. 15. 13 UC Browser Maxthon Number of Installs 264 Million 120 Million Owned By Alibaba Maxthon Limited Popular In China and India Asia Ad Blocking by Default Since August 2014 February 2015 Mobile ad blocking is already big in Asia, where the two most popular mobile browsers come with ad block installed and switched on by default. Ad blocking makes sense for users in Asia-Pacific, where mobile data is a luxury and downloading ad content is costly. But it’s beginning to make more sense in the West as well, since mobile providers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer all- inclusive voice and text packages that leave “data usage” as the only variable on the bill. Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe)
  16. 16. 14 Ad blockers spread like a virus. 6. PageFair asked people who block ads how they learned about the technology, with surprising results: 80 percent learned about ad blocking through word-of-mouth. This viral growth means that companies producing ad blockers don’t need to advertise to sell their product. An anti-advertising product that grows its base without advertising? Sweet for them. As for those who don’t learn about ad block by hearing friends talk about the amazing app that eliminates annoying ads while speeding up the browser, reducing data, and prolonging the life of the battery—there are browser extension stores, where ad blockers tend to sit at the top of the Most Popular lists. The remaining 20 percent of people in PageFair’s survey said they learned about ad block through their browser’s extension store. Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  17. 17. 15 People who use ad blockers don’t hate all ads—they hate specific kinds of ads. 7.
  18. 18. 16 % of people who do block ads who expressed some willingness to view ads But, not surprisingly, almost no one is willing to view popovers, un-skippable videos, and ads that play sounds by default. Those ad formats chisel away at the consumer’s good will, both toward the sites that display them and the brands that place them. PageFair also asked people who use ad blockers if they’d be willing to accept various types of ads. Most people are somewhat open to the notion of viewing skippable videos, still images, and text ads. 60% Popover Video non-skippable mid-roll Display with audio Video non-skippable pre-roll Interstitial Animated Display Video Skippable mid-roll Video Skippable pre-roll Still Image Text display 30% Source: 2015 Ad Blocking Report, PageFair and Adobe
  19. 19. 17 Conclusion Due in large part to the growth of ad blockers, and in large part to banner blindness, engagement on digital advertising is way, way down. Click-through rates on display ads were at 0.04 percent for the first half of 2015, and that figure keeps getting lower. Low click-through rates, combined with the fact that 56 percent of site traffic comes from bots1 , and that 56.1 percent of ads aren’t viewable2 , creates this sad truth: you’re probably receiving just one click for every 13,000 ads you serve. Digital display advertising is no longer an efficient way to market. It’s time for alternatives such as content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing, the last of which combines content and social media to provide a native experience in formats audiences enjoy, trust, and accept. As Tom Peyton, assistant VP of marketing for American Honda Motor, told Ad Age: “Just make an ad everybody wants to watch. Make great content.” [1] 2014 Bot Traffic Report, Incapsula [2] 2014 Display Ad Viewability Study, Google
  20. 20. Visit our Influencer Marketing resource center for educational videos, webinars, ebooks, and success stories. To learn more about TapInfluence’s influencer marketing platform: Email: Info@tapinfluence.com Call: 720-726-4074 Visit: www.tapinfluence.com Let’s Talk / Get a Demo View the full 2015 Ad Blocking Report by Adobe and PageFair.

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