- EMarketer conducted its first estimate of ad blocking use in the UK and found that adoption of the technology has been steadily on the rise since 2014, and is projected to reach 27% next year.
- The results combine usage by both desktop and mobile device users.
- The survey showed that ad block usage is more prevalent on desktops, but there is overlap with people who block ads on all their connected devices.
Consumers are clearly speaking out against poor digital user experiences with intrusive and annoying ads by their steady increased adoption of ad block tech. The question is, does the online advertising industry hear that message, and more importantly, is it willing to take action the might reverse the trend?
"There’s no doubting that ad blocking is now a very real issue for advertisers. Next year, over a quarter of the people they're trying to reach will be willfully making themselves unreachable," EMarketer Senior Analyst Bill Fisher said about the findings.
The industry also needs to ask itself whether the situation has gone too far without any meaningful response so that no matter how good the user experience becomes, people will still choose to adopt the software. The trend line from the eMarketer research certainly indicates that might be case, particularly when put into context with other recent research that found younger demographics are more likely to know about, and implement, ad blocking technology.
In fact, research from Accenture Digital found that more than 84% of respondents reported they were being shown too many ads when viewing digital content. Though these numbers provide a grim view of the future of digital ads, there is always a silver lining.
"The good news is that numbers like this have forced those within the industry to think long and hard about what it is that they need to do better in order that this practice doesn't become an epidemic," Fisher said.