Worldwide, more than one in five (22%) of smartphone owners are actively using mobile ad-blocking browsers, per the latest findings from PageFair.
Year-over-year, that represents a 90% jump in blocker usage, according to the ad-blocking solutions provider. Among some 1.9 billion smartphone users, meanwhile, that comes out to about 419 million consumers never seeing your ads.
Of course, the vast majority of blocking is taking place in Asia. As of March, there were 159 million users of mobile ad-blocking browsers in China; 122 million in India; and 38 million in Indonesia.
That doesn’t mean that mobile blocking isn’t occurring in the West. With the help of app-intelligence firm Priori Data, PageFair counted 14 million monthly active users of mobile ad-blocking browsers in North America and Europe, as of March.
Yet, mobile ad blocking remains a rare activity in the United States. Throughout North America, in fact, a mere 1.2% of smartphone owners are using browsers that automatically block ads, while content-blocking apps now reside on just 0.9% of smartphones.
Still, U.S. publishers and platforms -- many of which are looking abroad to scale their businesses -- should be concerned about the findings.
Industry leaders insist that they’re aware of the rising threat. “Consumers are pushing back on mobile and online ads,” Nancy Hill, CEO of the 4A’s, toldPageFair for its report.
What’s the solution? For one, advertisers and marketers need to “take a hard look” at how they may be contributing to the problem, according to Hill.
From there, it will be critical to “correct the issue to better engage with the consumers we’re trying to reach,” Hill said.