A new report finds that more than 400 million people are now blocking ads on their mobile phones, a rapidly growing threat to firms that rely on mobile advertising dollars.
That’s a 90 percent surege in just one year.
Research firm PageFair and app intelligence firm Priori Data say that 22 percent of 1.9 billion smartphone users are just saying “no” to adds.
“This report tells a sobering story about the future viability of ad-funded media and journalism in developing economies. Adblocking now threatens all mobile channels,” said Sean Blanchfield, the CEO of PageFair.
“Failure to address user concerns about mobile advertising in North America and Europe will lead to the same kind of widespread adblock usage that we are seeing in the Asia Pacific region.”
Spotify, Apple News, and CNN are “vulnerable to adblocking,” the report notes.
Adblocking browsers are the most-often used tool, according to the report.
“Many publishers and advertisers have hoped that mobile platforms and walled gardens would offer a refuge from adblocking,” PageFaire notes. “As this report shows, this is not the case.”
In the U.S. and Europe, 14 million smartphone owners are already blocking ads as of March. However, that number surged in April by nearly 5 million.
The apps can be downloaded at Apple and Android app stores.
The numbers are even higher in India and Indonesia (over 60 percent) while across China nearly one third of smartphone users block adds. Across Asia pacific, the percentage of ad blockers has surged to 36 percent.
Adblocking also is a challenge for websites and advertisers on desktops. In a report in August 2015 PageFair and Adobe found 198 million adblock users among PC owners.
- At least 419 million people (22% of the world’s 1.9bn smartphone users) are blocking ads on the mobile web.
- Both mobile web and in-app ads can now be blocked.
- As of March 2016 an estimated 408 million people are actively using mobile adblocking browsers (i.e., a mobile browser that blocks ads by default).
- As of March 2016 there are 159 million users of mobile adblocking browsers in China, 122 million in India, and 38 million in Indonesia.
- As of March 2016 in Europe and North America there were 14 million monthly active users of mobile adblocking browsers.
- A further 4.9 million content blocking and in-app adblocking apps were downloaded from the app stores in Europe and North America since September 2014.
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