On the consumer-side, adblock software is heaven sent–I admit, even I use it. On the business-side of things, it’s a thorn in our side. If your main source of revenue is from Adwords or the likes, you may be in dire cicumstances.

If you show ads on your site and have recently seen a decline in your ad-revenue, it may be due to ad-blocking software. Fairplay will help you find out how you are being affected by ad-blocking software. If you think you may be affected in the future, there is still hope–most likely not in traditional but in native advertising.

Data from a recent report by Comscore and Sourcepoint reports that, of a 2 million desktop users’ panel in the U.S., 9% use ad-blocking software. Currently, only 0.1% of mobile users use ad-blocking software.

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The younger generation is more likely to use ad-blocking software.

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In a September 2015 report by Unruly, titled “Future Video Survey.” The survey revealed that 58.8% of respondents say that they use ad-blocking software because there are too many ads, while 50.1% say that they use it because they were being showed too many of the same ads over and over again. 3,200 internet users worldwide ages 11-69 were surveyed online during July 21-27, 2015. 400 respondents were surveyed in each of the following countries: Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the US.

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“The use of ad blockers varies widely by site category. Gaming sites, popular with younger and often the most technically proficient users, tend to have the highest rates, while news/media, business, shopping and other sites with broader audiences have been much less affected.” – eMarketer.comDigital Ad Blocking: Will Escalating Usage Imperil Marketing, Monetization Efforts?

eMarketer_Ad_Blocking_Rates_Worldwide_by_Website_Category_Q2_2015_194500 (1)

Despite the amount of users using ad-blocking software, companies are behind the times. An October 2015 report released by Hanapin Marketing titled “The State of PPC“, revealed that 74% of marketing professionals planned to increase budget for AdWords and 60% for Bing ads.

eMarketer_Areas_Where_US_Marketing_Professionals_Plan_to_Increase_Their_Budget_Aug_2015_198527

130 marketing professionals from brands and agencies who were mostly from the US were surveyed during August 2015

All data points allude to a misconception about ad-spend. Marketers either don’t see the trend, don’t know what’s causing the trend or have yet to experience it–and experience it they will. According to a recent report by Cxense, only 16.9% of U.S. publishers can or are tracking how many users are using ad-blocking software.

Data is from the November 2015 Cxense "Publisher Survey 2015" in conjunction with Editor & Publisher

Data is from the November 2015 Cxense “Publisher Survey 2015” in conjunction with Editor & Publisher

The Year(s) of the Native Ads?

“From a brand perspective, programmatic native isn’t the trend, programmatic content is.” – Justin Choi, President and CEO, Nativo (eMarketer Interview)

Native ads have the appearance of editorially-placed content which can sometimes help them bypass ad-blockers. As ad-blocking software picks up on programmatically-placed native ads this won’t always be the case. Apart from native ads on websites, native ads on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as within mobile apps, could become the way to get around ad-blocking software.

“Native just happens to be the placement, and programmatic is the way to scale those efforts around content across device. Content is a way to engage customers in a much more meaningful manner than just plopping ads in front of them.” – Justin Choi, President and CEO, Nativo (eMarketer Interview)

Migrating to native may pose challenges to most companies due to the customized units that require “new creative considerations, new metrics and new partnerships to find the necessary scale.”

Many publishers are on the cusp of developing native advertising. A spokesperson for BuzzFeed claimed not to have any strategy for ad blocking because of its success with native implementations. Even with that claim, a visit to BuzzFeed with Adblock Plus installed will block sponsored content. In order to create a compromise—and a revenue stream for itself—Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus, created a path for advertisers to “whitelist” their ad units.

Emarketer states,

Eyeo’s provisionary structure, dubbed the “Acceptable Ads” initiative, allows ads from around 400 whitelisted firms to appear by default, though users can still block even these ads by changing their settings. In return for the whitelisting, the firms must adhere to guidelines about how the ads look and function. Furthermore, the company has taken payments from more than 30 of those firms as a condition of getting whitelisted. According to the Financial Times, those firms include Amazon.com, Google, Microsoft and the ad network Taboola.

Another Solution?

If a huge chunk of your business funding comes from advertisements and ad-blockers take that away, what other options do you have?

  1. Some ad-blockers allow you to pay them to bypass their blocking–shady to me.
  2. If your revenue comes from showing ads on your site, another option is to charge end-users for exclusive access to your content. This can provide money but also can be detrimental to SEO efforts. Awesome, free content can pay you in the form of links, traffic, and rankings. Put a block between your content consumers and the content that they could link to and your site could become obsolete in the SERPS.

What have you done to supplement the loss of revenue from ad-blockers? Have you noticed a hit? How have you resolved the issue?