Ad Blocker: All You Need To Know

Ad blocking software is typically a  free to download plugin that works within a browser to block all kinds advertisements on webpages. That can include a variety of different ads such as display ads on a site page, paid search ads, or video advertisements prior to other videos. Adblock and Adblock Plus from Eyeo are two of the most popular ad blocking software options, with approximately 144 million users (nearly 5% of all global Internet users). According to Adblock’s monitoring service PageFair,a staggering 41% of internet users aged 18-29 have tried it, and the majority of usage is happening on the Firefox and Chrome browsers .According to AdBlock it is “the most popular Google Chrome extension,” with more than 40,000,000 users using the plugin.

Screenshot of google without ad block
Without Ad Block


Screenshot with Ad Block
With Ad Block

Studies conducted by the Simon Fraser Institute in British Columbia have concluded that browsing the internet with Ad block plugins Adblock Plus browser extension can save between 25 and 40 percent network bandwidth . There are many other benefits for users who have ad blocking sotware,  cleaner looking Web pages free from advertisements, lower resource waste ( CPU, memory, etc.),  also fewer crashes and the ability to open multiple browser tabs without facing spinning wheels or hourglasses while each page loads. The privacy benefits gained through the exclusion of the tracking and profiling systems of ad delivery platforms. Ad Block plugins also give users protection against adverts that could expose your computer to harmful viruses. Blocking ads can also save substantial amounts of energy.

One of the biggest challenges resulting from the popularity of Adblock is that digital media companies who rely on advertising for their revenues see a fall in profit. Google for example saw a loss of about 10% of its revenues, amounting to approximately $6 billion.

The only way to safeguard your company against losing advertising  revenue is to apply to be “white-listed” by   Adblock. Companies who apply must have what Adblock considers to be “Acceptable Ads.” If deemed “acceptable,” Adblock will then charge those websites a fee that amounts to approximately 30% of the additional ad revenues that the sites will make from the unblocked ads. only 20% of sites who believe they fit the Acceptable Ads criteria and have applied to be on Adblock’s white-list have actually been accepted.  Internet giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in a better position to be able to afford these costs, but many smaller companies, marketers and publishers consider this exchange as a form of extortion on  Eyeo’s part. “Small” websites  are not charged, however Adblock does not provide a clear definition for which websites fall in the “small” category and which do not.  Adblock also states, the decison to be considered as white-listed are not necessarily final as acceptable ads are not automatically recognized.

Some service providers and news broadcasters (e.g. ITV ) have tried  to work their way around this by  not showing certain pages to people who are using Adblock. While this may work on the odd occasion, this method does often backfire and users more than likely go to another source to find the content that they have been looking for.

itv block

With 25% of mobile web browsing going through its Safari browser, Apple is also getting in on the ad blocking game. With the release of iOS 9, users will be able to choose if they want to block all ads seen through their phone’s Safari web browser.  Apple have reportedly approved the very first Ad Blocker that works within mobile apps ‘Been Choice’. It is reported that this app also eliminates Apple from taking the free advertising space.  Some view this as Apple pushing publishers toward a greater app focus, as it will make it harder for them to pay for their sites without this advertising and thus, make those apps and the advertising space available there more attractive. When you consider the fact that Apple makes more money from the App Store than from the mobile web, this makes sense.

While Ad blocking software has been under much scrutiny by many publishers and advertisers , other experts in the space believe that it is really the start of a better internet where users are not bombarded with the same adverts they see day to day.  Pop-up or auto-play ads that consumers already ignore will be blocked. Advertisers will be forced to think more creatively to develop alternative solutions that will engage consumers rather than push them away with their annoying and irrelevant  ads. Alison Ebbecke, an assistant professor of advertising at Temple University, summarizes this well: “advertising will continue to exist in a smaller form, even if the packaging or delivery looks slightly unfamiliar.”

So what’s your opinion on Ad Block software is it killing your business? Do you use Ad Block software and if so why? Let us know in the comment section below.