Ad Blocking in the US: eMarketer's Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014–2018 - eMarketer
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Ad Blocking in the US: eMarketer's Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014–2018

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: March 07, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Ad blocking has grown beyond a mere niche phenomenon. eMarketer estimates that about one-quarter of US internet users were employing ad blockers as of the end of 2016. But the practice remains skewed toward desktop/laptop computers and is less common on smartphones.

  • The percentage of people using ad blockers is growing at a significant rate, though blocking established much of its presence earlier in the decade. eMarketer expects three in 10 internet users will be using blockers by the end of 2018.
  • Desktops/laptops—rather than smartphones—are the main venue for ad blocking. The proportion of desktop/laptop internet users who deploy blockers is more than twice as large as the proportion of smartphone users who do so. (However, as noted below, our definition of ad blocking excludes some smartphone actions that can have the effect of screening out ads a user might otherwise receive, even though this does not fall into the technical category of ad blocking.)
  • Unsurprisingly, younger people are more likely than their elders to use ad blockers. But the younger also conduct much of their digital activity on smartphones (where ad blocking is less feasible), which likely limits the amount of blocking that occurs in their typical digital day.
  • Ad blocking is still in a volatile stage, and it is possible that some sudden advance in technology could greatly alter the rate of blocker adoption by consumers.

"As ad blocking grows, the saving grace for advertisers is that it remains less common on mobile devices, where blocking technology is less effective than it is on PCs. This year, 28.2% of desktop/laptop internet users will use ad blockers, vs. 11.8% of smartphone users."

Table of Contents

Going Around the Blocker?

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Quantifying the Population of Blocking Users

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The Device Factor

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Some Demographic Wrinkles

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Editorial and Production Contributors

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8 charts are included in the full report:

Ad Blocking in the US: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014–2018

US Ad Blocking Penetration, by Device, 2014-2018 (% of smartphone users and % of desktop/laptop internet users)

Quantifying the Population of Blocking Users

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, 2014-2018 (% of internet users)

US Ad Blocking User Growth, 2014-2018 (% change)

The Device Factor

US Ad Blocking Penetration, by Device, 2014-2018 (% of smartphone users and % of desktop/laptop internet users)

US Ad Blocking User Share, Desktop/Laptop vs. Smartphone, 2014-2018 (% of total)

US Ad Blocking User Growth, by Device, 2014-2018 (% change)

Some Demographic Wrinkles

US Ad Blocking User Share, by Gender, 2014-2018 (% of total)

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, by Age, 2014-2018 (% of internet users)