Ad Blockers Comprise More Than A Quarter Of Internet Users

While ad blocking remains a major issue for advertisers, publishers, and the entire digital ecosystem, digital researcher eMarketer came out with a revision of its ad blocking forecast, lowering its estimates of ad blocking users in the U.S. to 75.1 million. That still means that more than one quarter -- or 27.5% -- of U.S. internet users will use ad blockers this year, according to eMarketer’s revised forecast.

The research firm’s previous forecast had projected 86 million U.S. internet users would be using ad blockers in 2017. It noted that even with revised numbers, the growth in ad blocker usage remains significant, at 16.2%.

In case you’re wondering, eMarketer describes an ad blocker as an Internet user of any age who accesses the Web at least once per month via any device (including a mobile device) that has an ad blocker enabled.

In its revised forecast, eMarketer found that ad blocking is more common among desktop/laptop internet users vs. smartphone users. That’s not too surprising. However, ad blocking on smartphones stands at just 8%. This is attributed, in part, to the fact that “mobile ad blockers are often not as effective—especially within apps—as they are on desktops and laptops,” according to an eMarketer article.

Another interesting finding and perhaps, not at all surprising: Ad blocking is more common among millennials. In fact, eMarketer estimated that in 2017, 41.1% of millennials will use ad blockers. That’s much higher than usage among Gen X internet users: 26.9%. Even lower is ad blocking usage among Baby Boomers: 13.9%.

When eMarketer drilled further into the millennial demographic, it found that 18- to 24-year-olds are the heaviest users of ad blockers. In fact, nearly half or 49.9% of millennials will use one—that’s 51.0% of internet users within that age group. 

The digital research firm's forecasts are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms, and public companies, in addition to interviews with executives at publishers, ad buyers, and agencies.

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