The recent report that there is a steep rise in the use of ad blocking software would be worrying for brands who rely on online ads as a marketing tool. The report implicated smartphones users the most in these trend. According to the report, compared to last year, the number of ad blocking softwares in smartphones has risen by about 90%. We are talking over 400 million people or smartphones worldwide.
In other words, for every five mobile smartphones in the world, one has an ad blocking software installed. That is the grim conclusion by the authors of the report, Dublin-based PageFair and Priori Data operating out of Germany. The Profile of the firms that authored the report forces people to take the research very seriously indeed. PageFair is a modest outfit that made her reputation focusing on research that helps online advertisers find a way to beat all those ad blocking softwares at their game. While Priori Data is mainly in the business of tracking mobile apps on all platforms.
Brief Break-Down Of The Report
Breaking down the report region by region or country by country, highlights the fact that poor and developing countries had more use for ad blocking softwares than developed or rich countries. That could mostly be down to finances. Fact is, online ads actually consume their fair bit of data while a page is loading up. People in poor countries have every incentive to minimize data consumption because they lack money to waste on data regularly. Rich folks in developed countries do not have these concerns. And with the provision of public WiFi in most places, data management is the least of their worries.
The raw specific stats show that developing countries like China, India and Pakistan and most countries in South East Asia account for more than 36% of those using mobile ad blocking softwares on their devices. Meanwhile, isolating India and Indonesia alone gives a figure of nearly 70% of mobile devices with ad blocking softwares in the two countries.
Comparatively, mobile ad blocking softwares are not so popular in Western Europe, US, and Canada. Only two percent of mobile smartphones use ad blocking softwares in America, that is roughly 14 million mobile devices. As against the 159 million smartphones installed with these softwares in China. Though in the case of China, the large population could also account for the high number of mobile phones using these softwares.
Ad Blocking Softwares in the Limelight
These new report validates the modern trend of blocking online ads. When Google banned Samsung’s ad-blocker a few months back, there was a general outcry against the unfairness of it all. However, Google were just trying to protect the business model of Android apps on Play Store. Adblock Fast was a big threat to the ads that made Play Store a profitable business. Google had to back down and restored the app a couple of days later.
Now, even browsers like Opera and Mozilla’s Firefox are joining the bandwagon. Clearly, people see ad blocking softwares as very important. So these browser are just responding to people’s demand. Though most of them provide the option of switching off the ad blockers, but we know that once it is there, people would use them.
The love for ad blocking softwares is misplaced and misguided. Though the argument for them is idealistic, the reality still remains that much of the Internet as we know it is fuelled by online ads. How many people are willing to go through a paywall before accessing a page? Very few I must say. It is not even a question of two tough choices. If the world’s poor need free Internet, they must take online ads as part of the package. The tough outcome is having to stay off the net because we don’t have money to pay.
photo credit: beacontranscript.com