11% of the total internet population is blocking ads and the usage grew by 30% globally in 2016.
The global number of desktop and mobile devices that block ads grew by 142 million YoY to reach 615 million devices Dec 2015 - Dec 2016.
Mobile adblock usage grew by 108 million YoY to reach 380 million active devices globally Dec 2015 - Dec 2016.
Desktop adblock usage grew by 34 million YoY to reach 236 million active devices globally Dec 2015 - Dec 2016.
Naturally, this development risks jeopardising the revenue of advertisers. However, the other stakeholder facing heat is publishers whose major source of revenue is derived from ads.
In the end users will be affected too.
In the end users will be affected too as their access to free content will eventually perish when publishers are left with no other option but to charge for the content they provide. So, what is the solution?
The science behind ad blocking
Ad blockers identify a piece of information as an ad by checking where it is coming from, when the page is being loaded.
A big list of domains is maintained on the back end of the ad blocker software and anything that is recognised to have come from any of these domains is considered to be an ad and hence blocked.
Most ad networks use the same ad servers to serve all their ads thus making the job of ad blockers easier.
Saving your ads from ad blockers
Ensure your ad servers are using legit domains: Now, after having established the science behind ad blocking software one evident solution to save your ads from being blocked is to ensure that your ads are being served from the same domain as that of the site it is appearing on. Most publishing sites now push ads from their own domain so as to continue earning their revenues.
Comply with the guidelines of 'acceptable ads': The good news is that even ad blocking softwares such as Adblock Plus empathise with the pressure on ad revenue for advertisers and publishers, so they have launched an initiative for the common good of all the stakeholders in the online ecosystem. Though criticised by many publishers and advertisers, I still thinks this initiative deserves attention.In this article the company behind acceptable ads explains in detail the criteria an ad has to comply with in order to be considered acceptable. By adhering to the guidelines and bringing about the necessary changes in ads, the ads will be saved from being blocked.
Go Native: Another solution is to go native! A native ad has to match the form and function of the content that surrounds it. It's usually being pushed as sponsored content or other types of custom integrations thus saving them from being blocked. Such integrations can range from in-game native ads to custom content units and the opportunities just keeps increasing. You can read more about diffrent native advertising formats in this story from Techstory.in.
Use content marketing: Through content marketing you will be focusing on inbound marketing strategies in which you will attract your consumers by producing the content they demand or are in need of. This is an effective way to make sure your brand stays relevant to consumers without using traditional advertising.
Focus on user experience: Lastly, the reason ad blockers even became an issue was due to the online clutter a consumer had to deal with from numerous brands. In the future this might be less of a problem if advertisers and publishers got to solving the root of the problem by being consumer-centric and by improving the user experience.
To sum up it is time for brands and publishers to change the ways they communicate their commercial messages to consumers if they want to ensure profitability and avoid ad blockers.