I turned 56 last week. I’ve written for Digiday (the leading source for all things digital and tech in advertising, marketing and publishing) for a year and a half. This is my 100 percent truthful confessional: I don’t know if digital advertising is more or less of a scam than traditional advertising, and I know next to nothing about ad tech. Also, I don’t Snapchat or Instagram.
—Confessions of an analog man in a digital world
To some, ad blocking is a mortal threat to publishers. To others, it is an overblown fad. More evidence is mounting that ad blocking is more nuisance than existential threat today, but that could easily change.
A new survey of users found that only 41 percent of those surveyed were aware of ad blocking. But among those who are aware of it, 80 percent block ads on desktop and 46 percent do so on smartphones, suggesting it’s just awareness that’s holding back higher ad blocking adoption. And among those blocking, roughly half said they planned to ad block as long as they can.
The survey is part of a report, “Decoding The Adblocking Consumer,” by Midia Reseach, a London-based media research and consulting firm. It was done in March and is based on 3,600 respondents age 16 and up in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Australia, France and Sweden.
The survey of ad blocking consumers also found that only 17 percent of desktop users would whitelist a site if politely requested to do so. But fully 28 percent said they’d stop visiting a site if they’re denied access — a move that could potentially cost the publisher an important audience segment. (Respondents were asked to select sentences that applied to them, so numbers don’t add up to 100 percent.)