A Glimmer of Hope in the Ad Blocking Battle - eMarketer

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A Glimmer of Hope in the Ad Blocking Battle

While ad blocking grows, it remains relatively rare for smartphones, study reports

November 28, 2016

More and more consumers are using ad blocking software, but a recent report finds that smartphone ad blocking is rare.

Desktop and Smartphone Ad Blocking Usage Among UK and US Internet Users, Q3 2016 (% of total tracked by AudienceProject)

In Q3 2016, AudienceProject surveyed internet users ages 15 and older in the UK and the US about their use of ad blockers.

AudienceProject, who used a tracking pixel as part of the survey, detected that 26% of respondents in the UK and 23% in the US used an ad blocker on their desktops. Only 2% of respondents in both countries were detected using ad blocking tools on their smartphones.

While eMarketer’s most recent estimates also show a gap between desktop and smartphone ad blocking, the difference is not as stark: This year, eMarketer estimates that 23% of internet users are desktop ad blockers, compared with 7.8% for smartphones.

Ad blocking usage is growing, even if the rate is lower for smartphones. And it's not just ad blocking outright that consumers are doing. They're also interested in technologies that limit intrusions like ad tracking. For instance, one-in-five iOS devices in the US are set to limiting ad tracking.

eMarketer expects ad blocking to expand by double digits this year. Almost 70 million will use ad blockers this year, an increase of 34.4% over 2015.

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