Recent moves by Apple and Asus have the marketing world freaking out. Apple’s ad-blocking extensions to Safari via iOS 9 ushered in the capability to block advertising on smartphones. And Asus’s partnered with Adblock Plus to introduce ad blocking as default on its devices.
Both moves suggest just cause for a fair amount of panicking. Consider these sobering facts:
- Ad blocking is estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015.
- There are now 198 million active ad-block users around the world.
- Ad blocking grew by 41%globally in the last 12 months
In case you need further justifications for alarm, since September 2015 when these programs launched, the number of US users blocking ads has increased by 48%. Gulp.
Now let’s flip the coin over to the consumer side. When you consider how private information is being hacked at an astounding rate, is it any wonder trust in the internet is waning?
And let’s face facts. Many advertisers do not always limit their ad delivery to only the appropriate audience. Even if the vast majority of companies respect the consumer, one awful experience is all it takes for someone to reach for an ad-blocker. It’s a simple solution to an annoying problem.
With the availability of streaming services such as Netflix, the younger generation, especially, has become accustomed to commercial free options. They appreciate this move toward a clean, no-time-wasted experience. This generational shift in perceptions also affects their thought process when it comes to the price of content and their take on subscription services.
So, the popularity of ad-blocking isn’t that much of a surprise. But to predict the end of the Internet as we know it – as some doom and gloomers are doing – is giving up without a fight.
To be sure there will continue to be fallout. That’s a given. By mid-2017, it’s predicted the majority of US computers will utilize ad block. But that doesn’t have to spell the end for advertising.
Will things have to change? You bet. Expect to see an overhaul of how internet communication is conducted. Eli Mandelbaum shares, “The industry simply must adapt around ad blocking and use it as a catalyst for a better future. This Armageddon will lead to an evolution.”
The bottom line is this. Ad blocking is here to stay. The consumer will continue to get rid of what they do not want to see. If something is disrupting their online experience, is objectionable, or threatens their personal information, it will get blocked.
If online advertising is to survive, companies will have to uncover what people do like, what doesn’t annoy or offend them. Oh, and understand that people like relevance. Ads relevant to what people are doing online will survive. It’s that simple.
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