- Purify, an ad blocking software firm, wants users to consider another angle on why they should be blocking ads – the data costs associated with downloading unwanted ads.
- Although the argument is novel, in reality, given the wide range of service plans, as well as different web browsing habits that find users seeing different amounts of ads, it’s difficult to truly determine how much ad data is costing people.
- The New York Times tested “the cost of mobile ads” in October and found that ads were slower loading than editorial content, a situation that creates a bad user experience where visitors might even leave the page without viewing the ad or even the editorial content they originally planned on taking in.
"If an average user visits a dozen typical websites every day for a month, the cost to the user is approximately $11.16 to see the content and another $19.44 for the privilege of downloading the advertisements. Over a year, this adds up to a single user paying over $233 to view web-based ads that were never requested," Purify said in a statement pitching data costs as a reason to use ad blocking tech.
Meanwhile, a Marketing Land article points out that the math doesn't quite add up. "Purify is overestimating the bandwidth that pages and ads consume," the author, Danny Sullivan, writes, explaining that Purify doesn't account for surfing that happen on WiFi or how cellular data plans are actually charged to customers.
Ad blocking has been in the news more than ever, particularly after Apple released iOS 9 with ad-blocking capabilities as a new part of the mobile Safari browser experience. Anecdotally, there is some indication that the increased media coverage has helped spur the use of ad blocking tech.
If that’s the case, the online advertising industry might not be happy to hear that ad blocking as a topic is taking root in pop culture with references on TV show “South Park,” Howard Stern’s radio show and even news programs and morning talk shows such as NBC’s “Today” show.
According to AdBlock Plus, its U.S. user base grew 44% between April and October this year, reaching more than 13 million users.