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Ad blocking is becoming more of a concern in the UK. More than one in five people in the country will use ad blockers this year, and publishers now see them as a big challenge.
In May 2016, AOL and custom consumer research firm provider InsightsNow surveyed 301 UK publishers about the primary challenges they were dealing with on mobile. More than half (55%) said ad blockers were one of the biggest—above quality of consumer experience, as well as quality of content or creative.
Ad blocking certainly represents a clear and present danger to digital advertising, and UK internet users have plenty of advice as to how mobile advertising can be improved. Indeed, an April 2016 survey from provider Differentology for the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) revealed that 58% of UK internet users said making ads easy to skip or avoid would improve the experience. More than half of respondents wanted to stop ads that slowed page loading, and 52% wanted ads to be less obtrusive.
While ad blocking on mobile can be challenging, the medium does provide publishers with opportunities. That same AOL and InsightsNow study found that faster ad loads and engaging ad units were mentioned as the top opportunities of mobile—perhaps thinking these advantages could help obviate the problems of ad blocking.
And though respondents said quality of consumer experience and the quality of content on mobile were challenging, many publishers cited personalized creative and more mobile-web-based content as among the biggest mobile opportunities.
Similarly, although a quarter of UK publishers said measurement deficits were one of the biggest challenges on mobile, 40% of respondents said cross-screen tracking and measurement was an opportunity.
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