Use of ad-blocking software continues to rise, will cost advertisers $41B by 2016: Report

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Do you hate the huge amount of advertisements that clutter your web pages when you are browsing the internet? Well, you are not alone. In the past 12 months, ad blocking has grown by 41 percent as measured at the end of quarter two of 2015. This brings the number of active ad block users around the globe to 198 million, according to a report published on Monday by PageFair and Adobe.

The figure of 198 million represents a small portion of the global web population and the 41 percent is down on the previous year’s increase of 70 percent. However, publishers are still going to feel the pinch in 2015, with ad blocking expected to cost them $21.8 billion. According to the research, this figure is set to rise to $41.4 billion by next year.

The 2015 research shows that ad blocking varies by country. Over the last 12 months, the U.S. has seen ad blocking grow by 48 percent bringing active ad blocking users to 45 million. Europe has seen 35 percent of its internet population use an ad blocker at least once a month. While in the U.K. there has been an incredible growth of 82 percent, which accounts for 12 million active users.

The top sites most affected by ad blocking include gaming (26.5 percent), social networking (19.1 percent) and tech/internet (17 percent).

Even though web browsing on mobile is increasing, recent research saw smartphones become the go-to device when U.K. residents want to surf the web, the majority of ad blocking is still coming from desktop computers. However, ad blocking on mobile could increase dramatically with the release of iOS 9 in September. Apple’s developer documents for iOS 9 have revealed that app makers will have the opportunity to create ad-blocking software. Users will be able to download an app from the App Store to block ads in Safari when they browse websites on their iPhone or iPad. This is likely to have an even greater impact on advertisers.

For the past three years, PageFair has been tracking the growth of ad blocking. They measure more than a billion ad-blocking hits each month across its more than 3,000 clients’ websites.

Image credit: Chris Piascik via Flickr