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Adblock Plus insists mobile ad blocking is ‘sweeping the industry’

Adblock Plus insists mobile ad blocking is ‘sweeping the industry’

Adblock Plus head of operations and communications Ben Williams has spoken out against claims from the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) that the user of ad blocking softare has plateaued.

“If there’s been a stagnation in the ad block users, we’ve not seen this,” he added. “If you look at ad blocking on a per-country basis, we’ve long predicted that numbers would level around the 20-30% mark.

“The numbers given by the IAB are largely based on desktop users, but critically fail to realise the impact of increasing mobile users, particularly in the APAC region, where mobile ad blockers dwarf desktop users.”

Between 2016 and 2017, ad blocking figures in the UK have remained at 22%. However, the latest PageFair report has shown that 615 million devices were blocking ads with 62% of these coming from mobile. APAC region was found to be largely responsible for this growth, seeing a 40% growth in mobile ad blocking in 2016.

“Last year we saw a huge growth in mobile adblockers, and this year we’re seeing the exact same. Yet this trend in mobile ad blocking won’t be exclusive to the APAC region alone,” added Williams.

“As mobile ad blocking software capitalises in other regions and users become wary of this, it won’t come as much of a surprise if other regions such as Europe and North America also experience similar growth.”

Williams continued that the high proportion of APAC ad blockers suggests that the mobile platform is still raw and requires time to innovate.

“For both publishers and advertisers alike it represents two considerations, one being to stop the number of intrusive ads, and the second to better understand and adjust to the hardware restraints that weren’t previously experienced on desktops,” he said.

“Image-heavy and data-hungry ads often hamper mobile data plans and can drain battery performance, causing more users to seek adblockers as not only a solution, but a critical empowerment tool to regain control over their mobile user experiences.”

In September 2016, Adblock Plus introduced a new ad platform to let publishers programmatically offer nonintrusive ads.

Adblock Plus’ Dr Laura Dornheim will be talking on the Fake News panel at Festival of Media Global in Rome, with Bloomberg Media’s Keith Grossman and carat Global’s Sanjay Nazerali – buy your tickets here.