- As the debate over ad blocking continues to gain in intensity, a new report by PageFair and Priori Data shows the depths to which the technology is being used on mobile.
- The report reveals that one-in-five smartphone users now have ad blockers installed on their mobile browsers, with some 408 million people worldwide using them regularly.
- PageFair found that the use of ad blocking tech on the mobile web shot up 90% in 2015.
For advertisers and publishers, the findings from PageFair's latest report don't bode well. The ad and publishing communities have struggled to come up with a coordinated approach to the rise of ad blocking — which has only been made more evident by the fact that more consumers are putting the software to use.
Most alarming for the ad community is how quickly adoption of the technology is growing. Just last fall, PageFair estimated that 200 million people worldwide were using ad blocking software on desktop and laptop computers. Breaking the numbers down, the new report finds that ad blocking browsers are more popular in Europe (11.2 million users) than in the U.S. (2.8 million).
"[H]igh rates of desktop ad blocking in Western countries indicate an appetite for ad blocking, which may easily shift to mobile unless advertising practices change," according to the report.
PageFair says the decision to team up with Priori Data, a mobile app intelligence firm, was to shed light on the technology's growing penetration on mobile. It's worth noting that PageFair sells software aimed at helping publishers block ad blockers, as Poynter points out.
Another key finding from the report is that in-app ad blocking is now possible — even on Facebook. As the ad community struggles with its approach to the matter, ad blocking companies continue to provide consumers with a growing set of inventive means for avoiding ads. In the meantime, one thing seems certain: The problem isn't going away.