Ad blocking software on the rise, costing publishers $21.8 billion

Yesterday Adobe and PageFair released a report that claimed there has been a 41% world-wide rise in the number of people using ad blocking software. They also contend that these ad blockers have cost publishers more than $21.8 billion in lost revenue.

The report went on to claim that by 2016 ad blockers will cost publishers $41.4 billion.

We should keep in mind that those billions in ‘lost revenue’ dollars are actually projections of ‘potential lost revenue’ and no one can say with certainly that if ad blocking software disappeared tomorrow all those publishers could expect to add $41.4 billion dollars to their bottom lines next year.

The report also states that there are now nearly 200 million active ad block users around the world. So I guess we can assume that 200 million people are responsible for $21.8 billion dollars in click-through revenues – a little over $100 per person (although my calculator starts to choke on numbers with more than nine zeros so I might be off by a decimal point or two).

Back in 2013 Facebook reported an average of $.45 cost-per-click (CPC) and some reports indicate that number may have climbed a bit since then. So the assumption is that if those 200 million people didn’t have ad blocking software each of them would have clicked on 200 ads.

Um…I’m not buyin’ it.

I don’t think I’ve clicked on a single pop-up, banner, interstitial, intrusive video or any other type of online ad in years (except by accident) and I certainly didn’t click on 200 ads last year.

I’ve been reading a number of stories about the Adobe/PageFair report and the one common thread to all of them (other than the numbers in the report) is the fact that virtually all of the people who commented on these stories HATE the advertising industry, they HATE annoying, intrusive and sometimes unsafe ads that chew up bandwidth, track user activity and render sites unusable and they also HATE content publishers who fill their sites with all that crap!

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that ad blocking software is on the rise.

Advertisers and publishers alike have brought this upon themselves (and yes, I realize that TGDaily also carries some annoying pop-up ads too, but that wasn’t my call.) If you keep shitting where you live then sooner or later no one is going to come visit you anymore.

Publishers may need advertising to survive but if they degrade the user experience to the point where no one visits the site at all then they are going to have a hard time convincing companies to continue advertising on their sites and that has nothing to do with ad blocking software.

This is a problem that publishers and advertisers are going to have to work out among themselves. Stop producing annoying ads and stop littering your sites with them. You are just pissing people off and driving them away in droves.

Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


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