Years ago the “hot topic” in media was the integration of DVR’s in every household. Now, the buzz word has switched to “Ad Blocking”. It seems like everyone in the industry is perplexed with the concept and anxious about finding a solution to overcome this trend.
From logical thinking, one would assume that ad blocking is mostly utilized by younger millennials who are tech savvy. The largest concern with that is that millennials are becoming young adults, newlyweds, new parents, and leaders in the society. Soon this Ad Blocking generation will be raising their kids to do the same.
eMarketer dug deeper into this topic and reported that 63.2 million people use an ad blocker on their desktop/laptop while only 20.7 million people use the software on their smartphone.
Catchpoint Systems also did a study regarding ad blocking and reported that for many ad heavy sites, blocking software slowed page load times for users. However, sites like Southwest saw an improvement resulting in quicker load times.
Few websites, like Forbes, have taken action against ad blockers. Forbes requires a user to turn off their software or log in to their account to enter the site. Other platforms like Pandora provide users with an ad-free option with a subscription.
Just like with the integration of DVR, marketers will have to transform the way they serve ads in order to reach those who intentionally block them. It is likely that in the near future, publishers will adapt a format similar to that of Forbes to ensure that they have revenue coming in from the advertisements.
As with much of the advertising world, this is a growing and evolving subject. We look forward to learning more about how ad blocking will affect the digital medium.