More than half of Americans are using ad-blocking software

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by research firm Censuswide on behalf of Ghostery, a maker of software to block ads and online tracking, 52 percent of Americans now use an ad blocker, up from 34 percent according to 2022 Statista data. For the general public, the rationale for doing so tends to be more about protecting privacy (20 percent) than blocking ads (18 percent), with another 9 percent wanting faster web page loading.

You may have noticed that some media sites now have pop-ups asking you to turn off your ad blocker. Most will not turn off their online ad blockers to read an article, yet media sites continue to lose audiences because they have been sold by ad-blocking identification software.

Protecting privacy is cited more frequently among the expert set—27 percent, 30 percent, and 29 percent—for advertisers, developers, and security pros, respectively.

Ad blockers constantly challenge media sites that rely on ad revenue. Here are some strategies they can use:

Improve the ad experience: This is key. Focus on non-intrusive ads that load quickly and are relevant to the user’s interests. Pop-ups, autoplay videos with sound, and irrelevant ads are all reasons people use ad blockers.

Be transparent: Let users know how ads support free content creation. Some sites use “ad blocker gates” that restrict access to content unless the user turns off their ad blocker. This can be unpleasant, but it can also raise awareness about how the site makes money. However, this may not be enough.

Embrace new ad formats: Native advertising and sponsored content are more subtle and blend in with the surrounding content. This can be an excellent way to deliver ads without disrupting the user experience.

Server-side ad insertion (SSAI): This technique embeds the ad directly into the content, making it invisible to ad blockers.

Focus on memberships and subscriptions: Many sites offer premium ad-free experiences for a monthly fee.

Explore alternative revenue streams: E-commerce, events, and donations are all ways that media sites can generate revenue without relying solely on advertising.

Target mobile apps: Ad blocking is less common on mobile apps, so this can be an excellent place to reach users.

Content marketing: Creating high-quality, informative content can attract a loyal audience and build brand trust, which can be valuable for attracting advertisers.

Ad blocking software is becoming more popular, and I see this trend continuing. Time is the new currency and we don’t have time to be interrupted by ads.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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