Ad-blockers to deprive publishers of $20 billion in revenue

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A new report released on August 10 has shed light on the plight of publishers with an estimated loss of $22 billion as a result of increased usage of ad-blocking software on desktops and laptops.

According to a report by PageFair the use of ad-blocking software grew by a whopping 41 per cent in 2015 as compared to 2014 with an estimated 198 million monthly active users for the major browser extensions that block ads.

The report notes that usage of ad-blockers is the highest in the US where it grew by 48 per cent during the past year with an estimated 45 million average monthly active users in Q2 2015. Europe also witnessed increase in usage of such software by 35 per cent during the past year with over 77 million monthly active users in Q2 2015.

In the UK, there was an increase of 82 per cent in usage of such software with 12 million average monthly active users in Q2 2015.

As far as the monetary value is concerned, ad-blockers in United States cost publishers an estimated $5.8 billion in blocked revenue during 2014. The number is expected to rise to $10.7 billion in 2015 and $20.3 billion in 2016. The global cost ad blocking is expected to be $41.4 billion by 2016, the report notes.

The report notes that though ad blocking on mobile devices is an underdeveloped segment, it will see a boost soon after Apple releases iOS 9. The report notes that in the second quarter of 2015, mobile accounted for 38 per cent of all web browsing with only 1.6 per cent of ad-block traffic on the PageFair network in Q2 2015 from mobile devices.

“As technology develops and ad blocking plug-ins become more commonplace, the growth in ad blocking usage will receive yet another catalyst. This has the potential to challenge the viability of the web as a platform for the distribution of free ad-supported content”, the report notes.