One-third (33%) of U.S. consumers said they are very or somewhat likely to try using ad-blocking software in the next three months, according to a new survey by Digital Content Next, previously known as the Online Publishers Association.
Even allowing a substantial discount on these figures, DCN still estimates that around one in ten Americans (9%) will actually end up using ad-blocking software in the next three months. Given the limited time frame and growing public awareness of ad-blocking software as an option, it’s plausible to imagine that proportion increasing rapidly over the next year or so.
On that note, the DCN also pointed to new threats that could accelerate adoption of ad-blocking software, including enterprise-level installation of ad blockers (for example to improve network speeds or security), or carriers that offer ad blocking as a competitive feature to woo consumers.
Addressing consumer attitudes toward advertising, the DCN study also found that 70% of respondents said they dislike ads that expand over content or automatically begin playing with sound. Separately, 68% said they were concerned about ads tracking their online behavior, and 57% said that ads were causing their Web pages to load too slowly.
DCN CEO Jason Kint stated: “On a scale of one to 10, my concern is at a level eight or nine -- our industry has ignored consumer concerns and now these same consumers are speaking up by installing ad-blocking software. We need leaders across the industry to focus on providing better experiences, transparency and controls that will solve this issue.”
In a separate report released earlier this year, PageFair predicted that ad blockers could cost publishers around $22 billion in lost advertising revenues globally this year, adding that the figure is set to go up as adoption of ad blockers becomes more widespread.