Mobile Ad-Blocking in 2017: 5 Things to Know

Trends
Chase Buckle / May 31, 2017

It’s no secret that ad-blocking is a trend on the rise with our research showing that a third of internet users around the world are now blocking ads on their desktops. But how is this trend taking shape among U.S. consumers?

Our new report in collaboration with EYEO, The State of Mobile Ad-Blocking in 2017, takes a closer look at the attitudes of U.S. internet users towards ad-blocking and online advertising today.

Here are five things you need to know.

1. Ad-frustration is the primary driver behind ad-blocking in the U.S.

Our research shows that the majority of ad-blocker users across the states are using the software to curb their frustrations with intrusive or irrelevant ads.

1 in 3 recent ad-blockers say they try to avoid ads wherever possible, whether on TV or online, which shows just how little willingness there is to accept ads.

This is placing further pressure on publishers to take a more audience-centric approach, and put more effort into tailoring their ads to their consumers.

2. There is a lack of awareness around mobile ad-blocking.

Despite mobiles being one of the most commonly owned devices in the U.S, only 22% of U.S. ad-blockers are blocking ads on their smartphones.

This is not down to a lack of motivation to block ads as there is plenty of evidence to suggest that users are growing more frustrated with the state of online advertising today. Rather, this comes back to the low levels of awareness of mobile ad-blocking across the U.S.

Only half of internet device owners in the United States are even aware that they can block ads on their mobiles.

That many default mobile browsers do not (yet) support ad-blocking functionality is also slowing uptake, especially with many smartphone owners having little inclination (or knowledge) to download a new browser.

This again presents a key opportunity for mobile ad-blocking software to gather more momentum as consumers learn more about what’s possible, while putting more pressure on publishers to change the face of online advertising for the better.

3. Poor user experience is driving a resistance to ads.

Ad-overload, irrelevant content, intrusive formats and slow page load speeds are proving to be key motivators for internet users across the U.S. to deploy ad-blockers.

Younger customers here are more likely to take control of their online experience in this way, but across all demographics, irresponsible advertising is driving this growing resistance to online ads.

Intrusive and irrelevant mobile advertising is also causing poor user experiences, giving some users concerns about using their mobile as a primary internet device.

This points out the need for publishers to take more care with the way in which they use consumer data to drive ads, while also highlighting the need for them to adopt a full-funnel approach to improve user experience across the various touchpoints.

4. Many consumers are open to ads that are respectful.

Despite the fact that more U.S. consumers today are turning to ad-blockers, it’s important to note that many are open to advertising that they deem to be respectful.

One fifth of smartphone owners say they don’t mind seeing ads on their mobiles once they’re respectful, while a similar number say they’re willing to donate money to support websites.

But with almost half of smartphone owners also stating that they would prefer to block all ads on their mobile, bridging this gap requires educating the consumer on the value exchange to be made in accessing their favorite content online.

This is urging publishers to improve standards and deliver targeted messaging that resonates with any given group. By optimizing the quality and user experience of their ad offerings, it’s clear that brands can still appeal to U.S. consumers and significantly expand their reach.

5. Demand is growing for mobile ad-blocking software.

This reveals a lot of potential for ad-blocking software to spread further across the mobile-first market.

As our research shows, the underlying demand for a mobile browsing experience free of irrelevant, intrusive and irresponsible ads is very clear.

1 in 3 smartphone owners say that they see too many ads when browsing the mobile internet.

What’s interesting here is that many of these consumers remain unaware that this is a possibility – largely due to a lack of awareness around mobile ad-blocking brands and how to download the tools, as well as a lack of willingness to venture beyond their default browser.

This reveals a lot of potential for ad-blocking software to spread further across the mobile-first market.

Want to know more? Download our full report on The State of Ad-Blocking in 2017 here.

The State of Mobile Ad-Blocking in 2017