Ad Blocking: Who Blocks Ads, Why, and How to Win Them Back, a research report conducted by the IAB with C3Research, shows two-thirds of U.S. consumers using ad blockers could be convinced to uninstall their ad blocking software. The in-depth study reveals that the top methods for influencing these web visitors to turn off blockers include:
- Preventing access to content alongside a notice stating that content is blocked because of the use of an ad blocker
- Ensuring that ads do not have auto-play audio or video
- Making certain that ads do not block content
- Safeguarding users from ads that are infected with malware/viruses
- Guaranteeing that ads do not slow down browsing
Who Blocks Ads?
- 26% of Users Surveyed Block Ads on Computers and tend to be Men 18-34 years old.
- Anti-Virus confused for ad blocking. Additionally, 40% think that they are using an ad blocker. The confusion comes from consumers thinking that antivirus software or pop-up blockers built into their browser are ad blockers.
- 15% Block Ads on Smartphones and tend to be Men 18-34 years old.
Who Does Not Block Ads?
- Among consumers not blocking ads, 20% are past users of ad blockers. Why did they stop? Content being blocked and messages asking them to unblock in order to view content drove them to uninstall.
- In addition,17% of consumers not blocking ads are at risk to start doing so. Why? Largely, for the same reasons as those of consumers currently using ad blockers, in addition to the fear of getting a virus.
Why Do Users Block Ads?
- All users, but especially consumers using ad blockers, want uninterrupted, quick browsing and a streamlined user experience.
- Among those that already use an ad blocker on their PC, the top reason for using it on a computer is the perception that sites are easier to navigate without ads.
- Among those that already use an ad blocker on their smartphone, the top reason for using it on a phone is the perception that ads slow down browsing.
- Consumers that use ad blockers tend to blame ads for slow loading pages, while those not currently using ad blockers tend to blame the content for slow loading pages.
- Most annoying ad elements are: Ads that block content, long video ads before short videos, ads that follow down the page as the user scrolls.
- Consumers that use ad blockers are even more annoyed by these ad elements, especially auto-start ads (audio, in-page video, in-stream video).
- Users of ad blockers are less tolerant of ads.
How Do We Win Them Back?
- Two-thirds of consumers using ad blockers are open to stop blocking ads.
- Here’s how to win back ad blockers and prevent future blocking:
- Give users control: Video skip button, thumbs up/down ratings.
- Assure users of site safety: Provide guarantees that site and ads are secure, malware and virus-free, and won’t slow down browsing.
- Don’t disrupt their flow with: Ads that block content, long video ads before short video content, ads that follow down the page, autoplay, slow loading (especially on mobile), pop-ups, or full page ads.
- In short, implement LEAN principles (Light, Encrypted, AdChoice supported, Non-invasive ads), which address the a number of these key issues.
- For the other one-third, or Loyal Blockers, use these methods to try to get them to stop:
- Polite messaging to turn off their ad blocker in exchange for viewing content.
- Block content from users of ad blockers who do not turn off their blockers.
- In short, implement DEAL (Detect, Explain, Ask, and Lift or Limit).