Well, yes, at least according to the latest “The cost of ad blocking” 2015 report, published on Monday. In partnership with Adobe, PageFair have released their annual findings on the state of play regarding consumers and their ever increasing use of ad blocking software.
The report specifically cites Google Chrome, and the ease with which extensions can be installed as a major driver of ad block growth. According to the report, ad blocking software has led to the direct loss of $21.8 billion globally in just 12 months. The ad block surge isn’t just a problem for online revenue streams in the US. Ad block use grew 35% in Europe last year, and a staggering 82% in the United Kingdom alone.
Score one for the Gaming Geeks of the world.
Unsurprisingly, Gamers are labelled as the single largest group of online users most likely to block ads, at just under 27% of ad block usage.
This will come as no surprise to those of us involved in the IT and Software world. “Ad blocking behaviour on websites is a function of audience demographics. Websites that cater to young, technically savvy, or more male audiences…” are, according to the report, significantly more likely to seek out ad blocking software and more likely to use it than other online users.
The Future for online advertising?
Adobe and PageFair state that their findings aren’t there to point fingers at the people who publish Ad Blocking software. Rather PageFair’s CEO, Sean Blanchfield says that more and more people are turning to ad blocking software because “online advertising has become so invasive that hundreds of millions of people are willing to take matters into their own hands”
Bypassing Ad block software
While Blanchfield acknowledges that online users must be given more respect, and not be forced to suck on pop ups and unwanted video ads, his company PageFair is working on ways to circumvent ad blocking software.
Time will tell, if this stops websites going out of business, or whether it’s just a new way to stop online users having any say in what they do and don’t see when they go online.