The Drum recently published an article that stated that UK publishers lose nearly £3bn in revenue annually as a result of adblocking. Three. Billion. Pounds. The same article went on to add 39% of page views had ad blocking technology enabled, which resulted of a loss of more than £2.9bn in publisher revenue in 2017. Now this isn’t exactly a surprise, as the 2016 figures were also very high with publishers losing £2.5bn that year. If we expand the net globally, the figure has risen substantially and publishers have lost a whopping £32bn, which shows that the use of adblocking technology is not only increasing, but also threatening websites that rely on ads for revenue. This is proving to be a real issue.
These findings are from from OnAudience.com are backed up by the research found from other adblocking reports. The report by OnAudience.com represents the scale of adblocking in 60 markets across the world, in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue that plagues the entire industry.
A vast array of independent researchers have posted reports this year on the figures of adblocking in the UK and the statistics are as follows. Page Fair’s report puts stated that 16% of UK users use adblocking technology, whilst comScore’s report is a bit higher at 18%. IAB UK’s report however puts the proportion of Internet users using the technology at 22.1%, which is incidentally the highest percentage out of the researchers. With that being said however; IAB UK have identified that a lot of users who claimed that they were using adblocking technology actually cited their anti-virus software as their adblocker, and the real figure drops to around 18% which is consistent with other researchers. Finally, eMarketer’s report published back in June 2017 claimed that 20.9% (11.4million) of UK Internet users will use adblocking technology this year.
How can we help?
So we’ve identified that adblocking is a huge issue for publishers and websites that rely on ad dollars, so what can Evolok do about it?
A previous blog written on adblock a short while ago identifies how both publishers and adblocking technology can work in tangent in order to function side by side, but here’s a quick recap at what Evolok can provide and how we can help in this situation. The main theme was of course to compromise. Publishers and user have to find a compromise, as users need to understand that some sites need ads in order to successfully function. Publishers on the other hand also need to identify that no user wants to be on a page with gigantic banner ads that have no relevance of the content they’re viewing either, you must find a real balance between the both.
At Evolok, we run software that detects if a user is using an adblocker or is in an incognito window. We gently remind the users that they have adblocking software on, and ask them to take it off. Now you may be reading this and think well a user may go and access the content elsewhere, but let’s delve a bit deeper. This will be a user that has a subscription to the publisher, and clearly enjoys reading the content, so therefore they’re interested in what the content is. All they have to do in order to access the content that they have an interest for is click on a small button in the top right of their screen and that’s it. They can then enable it again when they leave the website, and it’s as simple as that. Publishers keep their ad revenue, and users still have an access to their content. The main point to take away from this however is to not to ruin user experience with intrusive ads, because after all, if users don’t like being on your website, then you won’t get any ad revenue anyway.