Mobile Ad Blocking on the rise
Low bandwidth and relatively expensive mobile connections are the main drivers of the rise of Mobile Ad blocking, according to a new report from PageFair. As the new report shows there are nearly 420 million smartphone users who use ad blockers globally, most of them in developing countries in Asia. On the contrary, in areas like North America or Europe penetration of mobile ad blockers is still low, as only 14.5 million smartphone users have installed such a program.
Adblocking browsers are the dominant method of mobile adblocking, as 408 million people used such a browser on their smartphones (March 2016). On the other hand (and despite the hype) content blocking apps on iOS are making a limited contribution to adblocking usage globally as they have had only 4.5 million downloads. According to the report, 21% of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users have an adblocking browser installed and the vast majority of users are in the Asia-Pacific region, where 36% of smartphone are blocking ads with an adblocking browser.
The list of the 17 top markets worldwide in terms of adblocking browsers consists of seven Asian countries, four from Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria and Egypt), four from Europe, USA and Brazil. All these markets have more than 1 million monthly active users, while China and India are by far at the top of the list with 159 million and 122 million respectively.
As analysts predict, adblocking browsers will continue to grow wherever data costs are high. Due to that, the phenomenon is encouraged by some mobile operators (such as Digicel with 10.8 million subscribers) which have adopted ad control services in order to reduce the cost of web browsing for the consumers. Pagefair predicts that in the near future we willl see some other wireless carriers which will follow Wireless carriers will follow Digicel’s example to remain competitive and reduce costs for their subscribers.
All the above indicate a great danger for marketers not to be able to reach the next billion of Internet users, as in many emerging markets mobile networks and devices are the only way to get online. Additionally, as more and more ad blockers are able to cut ads from social media and apps, they don’t leave a “back door” open for the advertising industry to reach their audience through Facebook and other mediums.
Given these developments, it is alternatives such as AdVoice that could provide mobile operators with a solid, revenue generating proposal.
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