- Consumers that use ad blockers may be open to a light ad experience, if delivered in the correct way, according to a new report commissioned by ad blocking software Eyeo. The survey of 2,500 people was conducted by YouGov.
- Some 57% of U.S. consumers involved in the study revealed that they would prefer to filter ads than to block all of them, meaning they would view ads they deem acceptable while blocking all others. Another 71% acknowledged that publishers rely on advertising to deliver free content.
- The research also revealed that 83% of people that use ad blockers said they would be "annoyed" if a website disabled ad blockers without their permission. Some 61% of people go so far as to not return to the site again. A mere 38% said they would turn off their ad blocker if the website asked them to.
The report suggests that consumers that employ ad blockers, an audience previously written off and deemed not worth targeting with ads, might be open to some ads so long as they remain in control of the experience. It also shows that some consumers understand the need for ads to support quality content, suggesting this is a sustainable ecosystem if publishers and advertisers collaborate on providing a strong user experience.
The YouGov report suggests that there could be a happy medium in between publishers adopting anti-ad blockers and browsers looking to make it easier for consumers to have a pleasant, ad-free experience. With more than half of consumers understanding the tradeoff for free content and ads, this study hints that these people might be willing to sit through an ad if it means they can filter the ads themselves.
Other research points to another side of the ad blocking issue. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, found that publishers are using "anti-ad blockers" — software which detects and can call out or stop users of ad-blocking technology — on their sites much more than they used to. The "Measuring and Disrupting Anti-Adblockers Using Differential Execution Analysis" report from last year found that anti-ad-blocker technology existed on 30% of the top 10,000 websites, and on 38% of the top 1,000 websites.
At the same time, some browsers are making it easier for consumers to skip ads. Google Chrome now stops disruptive ads in a move to deliver a better user experience. Others are finding ways to make ads more attractive for users. Brave, a privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and web tracking, recently launched Brave Ads, an opt-in ad platform that rewards users for viewing ads.
The YouGov findings echo a recent study from OpenX, the Mobile Marketing Association and MediaMath, which also found that consumers want to be in control of their ad experience, with 80% of those surveyed saying they prefer opt-in video over other types of advertising, including pre-roll, mid-roll, interstitial, social or native. With this in mind, advertisers and publishers looking to engage, rather than repel, consumers should look for ad units that hand over the controls to users.