Costs of ad blocking rise to nearly $22 bn

August 10, 2015
"With ad blocking going mobile, there's an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open Web for two d
"With ad blocking going mobile, there's an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open Web for two decades is going to collapse," said PageFair chief executive Sean Blanchfield

The use of software that blocks online ads is expected to cost websites some $21.8 billion globally in 2015, a study showed Monday.

The study, by software group Adobe and Ireland-based consultancy PageFair, found that the number of Internet users employing ad-blocking software has jumped 41 percent in the past 12 months to 198 million.

The report said that while consumers have warmed to the idea of blocking online , they may not realize that the practice could hurt websites which rely on .

Those losses are expected to grow to more than $41 billion in 2016, the study said.

"It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy," said PageFair chief executive Sean Blanchfield.

"With ad blocking going mobile, there's an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open Web for two decades is going to collapse."

Consumers are able to install extensions on some Web browsers such as Google Chrome which block most ads. A similar tool is expected to become available on Apple devices with the release of the new iOS operating system later this year.

The report said that because of this growth, "ad blocking now poses an existential threat for the future of free content on the Internet."

In the US market alone, blocked ads resulted in $5.8 billion in losses in 2014 and are estimated to cost $10.7 billion this year, PageFair and Adobe found.

Campbell Foster, Adobe's director of product marketing, said he hopes the report sheds light on the online ecosystem

"Consumers, for the most part, accept the tradeoff that comes with 'free'—I'll give you information about me in exchange for your TV show, film, news article, or service—but draw the line at advertising that's intrusive, annoying, irrelevant or downright creepy," he said in a statement.

Explore further: Internet giants wage war on pop-up ad blockers

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baudrunner
5 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2015
The web isn't really consumer driven to the extent that any form of breakage could possibly impact those who use it for the purpose for which it was originally intended, which is to serve as an information source. The original concept of the information highway is alive and well and for the most part unaffected by ads. The fact is, we can do anything we want on our computers and never have to pay a cent. In fact, we can earn money on sites that do not even depend on advertising, like survey sites that pay you to take part. We like to use open-source software, from integrated software development environments to 3D animation and modelling and spread sheet management, document processing, games - the list is endless. Who needs advertising? What for? I personally don't care.
Benni
2.8 / 5 (4) Aug 10, 2015
It's one thing when still picture ads are put up, those are tolerable. But when you go onto a website and auto flash content not only pierces your eyeballs, but also lifts from your chair by your ears from intense sound, then I'm gone.

Flash video ads also chew into your bandwidth allotment, these are simply streaming videos no different than if you were viewing YouTube or an online movie, and you're paying for the ad by allowing the advertiser free access to bandwidth you are paying for. Nice huh? How you like paying for something you didn't know until now that you were paying for? Not only are ads being shoved in your face for something you don't care about, but you're also paying for it & didn't even realize it.



KBK
not rated yet Aug 10, 2015
I haven't really seen an advert of any kind for about 4-5 years, at least.

And that's a good thing.
dpapowah
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2015
Ads, especially on mobile, completely ruin the experience. If a website wants to get paid for its work: ask for donations. If your content is good enough, people, such as myself, will happily donate.

The thing with ads is that....they are insanely annoying and invasive. On mobile, they slow down loading times, increase data usage, trick you constantly, take up valuable space, etc.

It's absolute hell trying to enjoy a site's content (Awkward Family Photos, for example) on a phone while having to constantly dodge 10+ ads on every bloody page. I'm on a frickin' phone here. Not a 86 inch TV. Then you have the ads that fool you into believing that it is normal page content. I mean, seriously, people.

It's come to the point where when I come across an annoying ad, I will purposely go out of my way to avoid the product/service being advertised. If I'm using said product/service, then that's it for them!!
cardzeus
4 / 5 (8) Aug 11, 2015
The people who use ad blocking software are unlikely to be the same people who fall for click bait - therefore the estimation of losses is massively exaggerated IMHO.
xstos
4 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2015
They don't deserve the money they're "losing" in the first place. If their products were worth a damn, they'd advertise themselves organically.
rp142
5 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2015
Ads have been a source of malware for many years and the ad serving companies consistently fail to do anything about it. Ad companies track and monitor our online activities. As long as ads are a serious threat to our security and privacy, we have little choice other than to protect ourselves by blocking them.
docile
Aug 13, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ChrisWD
4 / 5 (2) Aug 14, 2015
Honestly, I think ads are the most annoying things ever. Yeah, sure, some sites depend on the revenue, don't care. If they go out, I'll find somewhere else. I already pay to connect to the internet. I not only use ad blocking add-ons, but for the very few that actually make it through, I get the address and add to my host file. Don't care about ad agencies "loosing" billions, I don't buy anything from them in any case, whether they bombard me with ads or not. And not being bombarded with ads makes my experience exponentially better. ;)
docile
Aug 14, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (1) Aug 14, 2015
The use of software that blocks online ads is expected to cost websites some $21.8 billion globally


Why is this costing money? People install ad-blocking software for a reason: because they don't want ads (Duh).
Such people would not click on ads unless they were duped into it. And such manipulative tactics should be illegal, anyways (in many countries ads must be - by law - clearly identifiable as such)
docile
Aug 14, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ab3a
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 15, 2015
I use a JavaScript blocker in self defense. A lot of crap-ware would never get a foothold if people would simply avoid the common ad-mongering sites. The pernicious and annoying ones are in flash. I block all those.

As long as we charge for bandwidth, I'm not going to let most ads through. Unlike the days of newspapers where ads were paid for through fees to the advertiser, these ads are ads I pay for. Shouldn't I have a say in how I use my bandwidth.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 15, 2015
The pernicious and annoying ones are in flash. I block all those.

Easy way out: Uninstall flash. Seriously. There's nothing that flash delivers that you can't do with minimum hassle another way.

If they ever find a way to force ads on us in a way that the site won't load at all otherwise then we'll just use the old tried-and-true filter technique: Render all the crap in a background process that pumps it to a non-existing screen and put all the actual context up on the real screen.
BSD
not rated yet Sep 23, 2015
Ads? What Ads?

Advertising companies can stick their crap where the sun don't shine.
baudrunner
not rated yet Sep 25, 2015
We can measure our success at blocking ads by how deeply we impact the cost of adblocking. Let's see that number rise!

Seriously, we are contributing to harmony, removing temptation, saving money... it's all good.

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