Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:12

Ad blocking: lost revenues for publishers topping $27 billion by 2020

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$27 billion sounds huge, and it is, but it’s almost 10% of the total digital advertising market, so while hundreds of billions remain, publishers will get squeezed!

A new study from the research gurus at Juniper Research has estimated that ‘digital publishers stand to lose over $27 billion by 2020, as online publishers struggle to find effective strategies to counter ad blocking.’

The new research is entitled ‘Worldwide Digital Advertising: 2016-2020,' which as usual, is on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices.

The research ‘found that publishers are racing to overcome the increasing challenge posed by ad blockers.’

In addition, ‘developer activity is set to increase over the next 5 years making ad-blockers more sophisticated and difficult to overcome.’

While ad blocking is limited to browsing activities at present, Juniper warns that publishers are likely to face the additional threat of in-app ad blockers in the future.

Apple & Three Raise the Ad Blocking Stakes

The threat to ad revenues was intensified, says Juniper, by ‘Apple’s inclusion of content blocking software in iOS 9.’

Furthermore, Juniper warns that ‘publishers will soon face additional challenges from the network operators. The operator Three has already announced plans to roll out ad blocking at a network level to all of its customers, and Juniper expects more operators to follow suit.’

Research author Sam Barker said: “Adoption is being driven by consumer concerns over mobile data usage and privacy. They are also incentivised to adopt the technology in order to reduce page load times”.

What about initiatives to make advertising more palatable?

Well, Juniper says there are the ‘Acceptable Ad Initiatives (AAI) such as Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) programme,’ which are ‘designed to increase trust in digital ads and discourage the use of ad blockers.’

Juniper says it ‘argues that such initiatives are a positive thing, and vital to both publishers in maintaining revenues, and users receiving the content they demand.’

What is all comes down to is that ‘ad blocking posts big questions for publishers.’

More below, please read on.

Juniper’s research ‘found that smaller publishers are most at risk from the rapid adoption of ad blocking software as they often solely rely on revenues from advertising to continue operating.’

It also found that ‘ad blockers, such as Adblock Plus and Adblock Fast, are witnessing increasing adoption of their products, especially from millennials and other younger browsers.’

Juniper advises that ‘publishers need to develop new strategies that encourage this demographic to allow their ads to be seen. Meanwhile, certain websites have found success in blocking their content to those who use ad blocking technology, such as Forbes and Wired.com.’

As per usual, Juniper has an additional whitepaper with some extra detail entitled ‘Digital Advertisers vs The Ad Blockers.’ 

You can download it form the link above together with further details of the full research.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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