The Threat of Ad Blockers is Looming. Advertisers, Start Thinking!

With the increase in the rate of acquisition of smart devices and computers all over the world, more and more people are becoming active consumers in the digital economy. This has opened a new medium for marketers to promote their products and services. And the good news is that they have been tapping on every possible marketing opportunity by employing various media planning software.

However, of late what has been making the headlines is the rising trend of installation of ad-blocking software on the smartphones. PageFair , an organization that fights ad-blocking software has very recently stated that 21% of 1.9 billion smartphones users have installed these software. The study says that the rate has doubled this year compared to that of 2015. Majority of the smartphone users who have embraced ad-blocking software are reported to be residing in India, China, and Indonesia. Analysts are saying that this trend is also likely to soon spread to Europe and the US.

The proliferation of more and more ad-blocking technology means hindrances in the working of the media planning software employed by the marketers. Following are some of the ways that consumers are opting to obstruct ads on smartphones, as reported by PageFair. These include apps and browsers related to content and ad blocking.

  • Ad-blocking Browsers

PageFair reported that about 408 million mobile users have been using ad-blocking browsers. It has been found that there are 45 types of ad blocking browsers for Android and iOS. Among these the Alibaba-owned UC Browser is most commonly used. ASUS is said to have collaborated with AdBlock Plus to add the software to 30 million of its smart devices.  It is predicted that with the global expansion of UC Browser, the usage of ad-blocking browsers will rise.

  • Content-blocking Apps

Content management system solutions still have the scope to evolve to meet the challenging times   since reports have shown a low rate of adoption, that is, 4.5 million downloads of content-blocking apps. In the recent announcements, Samsung said that it will be adding a default browser to block content on its Android devices.

  • Opt-in Browser Blocking

PageFair reported that 30 million users have used opt-in browser blocking on their mobile phones.  

  • In-app Ad Blocking

In-app ad blocking has been designed in a way to bar ads of third parties in other apps such as Apple News and Spotify. It also blocks ads in any type of browser installed in a smart device. In-app ad blocking can be done on mobile phones only through an HTTP proxy.

Following are few suggestions for publishers, pointing out the approach that should be taken by them in dealing with ad blocking –

  • Instead of blocking ads, users should be given access to tools that will help them to reject or complain about an ad.
  • By providing only a restricted quantity of premium advertising slots, brands will become more creative with their ads. This will help to improve consumer experience and they will not resort to ad blocking.
  • Websites that have been blocked can use the method of contextual targeting to ensure that they show only relevant ads to consumers.
  • Publishers and advertisers can generate new value by connecting with the users to extract data on web pages that are blocked and where tracking by third parties is also barred.
  • The risk of ad blocking should incentivize publishers and advertisers to commit to a standard time required for loading a page.

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