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In the latest episode of eMarketer’s “Behind the Numbers” podcast, analyst Mark Dolliver offers a quick overview of the state of ad blockers.
“There’s nothing new about ad blocking as a consumer practice, it’s just the means of doing it that has changed in the digital age,” said Dolliver.
Roughly a quarter of US internet users employed ad blockers last year.
It’s rising, but not at a terribly steep rate. By 2018, around three in 10 internet users in the US will use an ad blocker.
Ad blocking is less prevalent and less effective on mobile.
“There’s a shift now towards more adoption of ad blocking on smartphones, but it still lags behind, and that will continue to be the case for the next couple of years,” said Dolliver.
Younger people are quicker to adopt technology, like ad blockers. This year, among US internet users ages 18 to 24, a little more than half will use ad blockers. In contrast, fewer baby boomers will do so.
“The irony is that younger folks have ad blockers on their desktops and laptops, but that’s not where they’re spending most of their time,” said Dolliver. “Older folks, who do spend a large portion of their time on computers, are not the ones who are adopting ad blockers. In a way, that’s a saving grace for advertisers.”
US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%.
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