UK ad blocking growth rate slows

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11 million UK internet users, or 21% will use some form of ad blocking software this year, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast.

The company estimates that this user growth will slow to single digits in 2018.

The forecasts identify an ad block user as any individual that installs software on an internet connected device specifically to stop the serving of advertising content on webpages or applications.

According to the forecast, by 2018 22% of UK internet users will be using this kind of software on at least one of their devices.

The growth rate estimates have been downgraded due to slower than expected uptake on mobile devices.

A growing problem for advertisers

In 2017, just over half of ad blockers were young males. The forecasts, however, point towards a growing usage among different age groups, particularly 34-44 year olds (who will make up 24% of ad blockers).

Of the total number of ad blockers, 89% block ads on a laptop or PC and 34% do so for smartphones.

“The rate of growth in ad blocking users still presents a very real problem for advertisers and marketers,” said eMarketer’s senior UK analyst Bill Fisher.

“However, the threat hasn’t taken off quite as quickly as we’d originally thought. Some of the publisher responses to the problem have had positive effects, indicating that UK internet users may be persuaded to turn off their ad blocking software if the benefits of ad-supported content can be better communicated and the advertising better delivered.”

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