Most US Publishers Rely on Both Ad Support, Subscriptions - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Most US Publishers Rely on Both Ad Support, Subscriptions

Publishers aren’t sure of how to respond to ad blockers

August 24, 2016

Though publishers have traditionally relied on advertising to monetize their content, ad blockers have certainly changed the way they approach their monetization strategies now. In fact, many have since moved beyond traditional advertising, and have begun incorporating subscriptions as well. May 2016 research revealed that more than three-quarters of US publishers use a combination of both.

US Publishers Who Use Subscription vs. Ad-Supported Business Models, May 2016 (% of respondents)

According to research from AOL, conducted by InsightsNow, just 11% of US publishers use only an ad-supported model, and fewer use solely a subscription model. The lion’s share of respondents, 78%, use both business models.

Publishers are generally worried about a variety of things, including ad blocking, viewability and attribution. An April 2016 survey from Mixpo found that more than two-thirds of US digital advertising professionals were extremely or very worried about these areas.

Ad blocking continues to cause headwinds for many, and according to eMarketer, ad blocking in the US is expected to jump by double digits this year, as well as next. In 2016, 69.8 million Americans will use an ad blocker, a jump of 34.4% over last year. Next year, that figure will grow another 24.0% to 86.6 million people.

US Ad Blocking Users and Penetration, 2014-2017

A separate study from Cxense and Editor & Publisher found that US publishers are unsure of how to respondent to ad blockers. Less than 17% of publishing industry professionals said that their company can track how many users are blocking ads when visiting their website. A plurality of respondents were unsure if their company could do so.

So it seems unsurprising that AOL and InsightsNow also found that subscriptions were only becoming a more important part of monetization plans. A strong majority of those surveyed in May said they planned to roll out expanded subscription options over the next 12 months, while just 23% were planning to reduce such options—and none planned to eliminate them.

Go beyond the articles

eMarketer PRO customers get quick and easy access to the exact data and analysis they need to make critical business decisions:


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.