Some 764 million devices — mobile and desktop — globally ran ad blockers during the fourth quarter of 2019, according to a study released Thursday, a day after the Coalition for Better Ads announced standards aimed at short-form video for desktop, mobile web and in-app environments.
On Wednesday the Coalition for Better Ads announced standards focused on short-form videos such as mid-roll ads, pre-roll ads or pods longer than 31 seconds that cannot be skipped in the first five seconds, and non-linear display ads that are in the middle one-third of a playing video or are larger than 20% of the video content.
The standards identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and are most likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers. More than 100,000 consumers have participated in the Coalition’s research to develop its set of Better Ads Standards.
Blockthrough CEO Marty Krátký-Katz attributes the increase in mobile ad blocking to a variety of factors. He says mobile ad blocking initially took off in countries and geographies where the mobile-first internet emerged.
"In China and India, about one-third of users block ads on mobile and that’s where the rest of the world is headed,” he said. “In Europe and North America, we adopted the internet much earlier, so there’s a fair amount of desktop adoption, but not as much as mobile.”
North Americans and Europeans are shifting more of their internet browsing to mobile, so that is also supporting the growth of ad blocking on mobile devices.
Mobile grew more slowly in North America for several reasons. “Google realized if they stifle the ability for ad blockers to exist on mobile, it will never become a thing for Chrome, which is a popular mobile browser in North America,” he said, adding that it’s very difficult to block ads on Chrome in mobile. “Users have a choice. They either can use Chrome or they can use a different browser that supports ad blocking.”
Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge both provide this option.
“Ad block users consume more media because they tend to be tech savvy,” he said, pointing to all types of video.