Google Chrome, one of the most
popular web browsers in 2017, will begin allowing users to start blocking ads in February 2018. While Chrome runs
on a variety of platforms, such as iOS, it's most popular on devices running Android.
The move prompted Free Adblocker Browser (FAB), a mobile browser for Android with a built-in ad-block feature, to survey U.S. consumers as to why they block ads, what they do when they see ad block walls or requests to subscribe, and how they think publishers should make money.
About 17% of all FAB users are in the U.S. and spend on average 50 minutes browsing. The findings reveal 43.3% of survey respondents think publishers should only make content available to those who pay. Nearly 57% believe that ads should be the main source of the publisher's revenue.
Mobile advertising took 54% of total digital ad revenue in the first half of 2017, up 22% compared with the first half in 2016, reported the Interactive Advertising Bureau in its half-yearly digital ad spend report.
Advertisers spent $21.7 billion on mobile during the first six months of 2017, up 40% from $15.5 billion in the first half of 2016, according to the IAB.
Forrester Research estimates U.S. mobile display and social ad spend will grow from $25.5 billion in 2017 to $50.5 billion by 2021.
In addition to blocking ads, protecting their phone from viruses, malware, scams and privacy issues are top reasons to download a mobile ad blocker. Some 21.3% believe an ad blocker protects them from viruses, malware, phishing, and other attacks, while 11.5% look toward ad blockers to protect their privacy.
Respondents, 9.4%, cite speed as another reason to use an ad blocker. Another 1.4% of ad blockers are concerned with the life of the battery on their device.
Nearly half of those participating in the survey cited pop-up advertisements as the most unfavorable. Non-skippable video ads, auto-play video ads, and banners also irritate mobile users.
Ad-block walls keep users away from viewing the content unless they switch off their ad blocker or whitelist the website, but the study also shows that these walls decrease the number of visitors to websites. Only 9.3% of users agree to whitelist the website if required and 24.1% whitelist websites temporarily before turning on the ad blocker after leaving the site.
Some 66.5% of U.S. users do not whitelist the website, with about 42.5% leaving the page to search for the information elsewhere.
Survey participants understand good content takes time to produce. Some 68,4% of FAB users realize to provide high-quality content publishers need to make money, either by showing ads or by making content available only to users that pay.
They agree that paid subscriptions are a way for publishers to augment revenue, but when asked how many sites they subscribe to, nearly 60% said none. Some 10.9% noted one website, and 20.7% said between two and four websites.
The main reason why they don't subscribe to publisher sites: 44.4% said they can find the information for free on other websites, and 17.6% of respondents the subscriptions are too expensive.
About 15% do not want to share their personal information, 11% said registration takes too much time. Only 9.2% said they sign up for a website they like and visit often.