Hold the Ads, Please: AdBlock Software Hits the Mainstream
When you were a kid, did you always ask for the crust to be cut off of your sandwich? Being picky isn't only consigned to the world of children and high-end foodies—in fact, pickiness isn't even related solely to food at all. A just-released survey from Adobe and PageFair indicates that an alarming number of Internet users are becoming picky about something very important: your online advertisements.
You may have heard of a new technology called AdBlock, but if you haven't, then it's time to wake up and smell the ashes. AdBlock and similar services may be crippling your online ad spend. Adobe's survey indicates that 27 percent of all U.S. Internet users are utilizing some form of ad blocking software. Worldwide, the statistics show 144 million monthly ad blocking users.
One particularly alarming point the survey makes is that there will be no going back. As younger, more internet-savvy users (the most likely demographic to be using AdBlock) grow up, they will only continue in set patterns and suggest these tools to friends and family. Like it or not, AdBlock appears here to stay—and growth rates to date indicate that it is now fully in the mainstream.
The rise in banishment of ads isn't solely due to the availability of the technology. Survey responses rather indicate an accompanying mentality shift around the very nature of advertisements. Almost half of responders expressed a "complete lack of desire to view any advertising," while others noted privacy concerns—and rightfully so, after a recent rise in "malvertising" exploits in Google's Doubleclick platform. An additional third of the responses admitted that, while not entirely opposed to online advertisements, the often intrusive or obnoxious nature of advertisement types such as pop-ups or auto-playing videos led them to block.
Therein may lie the answer to the problem: Content. As many marketing experts and gurus are quick to point out these days, content is king. Most consumers don't understand the fact that without advertisers, there would be no content. That ignorance of the way things work leads them to reject not only paying for content, but the very nature of the sponsor-provider model, as well. While it might be easy to say "Well, that will show them when there's no one left in business to pay for quality content," shrug and wait for the bitter end, it's time for another route.