Ad blocking levels stabilise in the UK as more consumers understand ‘value exchange’, according to IAB

Ad blocking levels stabilise despite predicated doom

The proportion of British adults online currently using ad blocking software has remained at around 22% for the last year, according to the latest ad blocking report from the IAB, conducted online by YouGov.

Of 2,018 respondents, one in five (21%) who originally downloaded ad blockers don’t currently use them, the report suggests. The biggest reason that people switch off their ad blockers, aside from switching to a new device (24%), is not being able to access some content with the blocker installed – with 24% citing this reason, up from 16% a year ago.

This suggests that there is a better understanding from consumers of the ‘value exchange’ of the internet, whereby ads fund free content.

Publishers have spent the past year trialling new techniques to make their readers aware of the importance of advertising in the online ecosystem, from politely requesting to be whitelisted to denying any access to content.

“The continued rise in ad blocking that some predicted simply hasn’t materialised,” said Jon Mew, chief executive of the IAB in the UK. "The industry has worked hard on promoting this “value exchange” and it’s paying off."

Trinity Mirror is one such publisher that has tested a hardline approach to adblockers by denying readers access to content unless they whitelist the site.

Piers North, strategy director at Trinity Mirror, said: "Like all publishers, we’ll continue our attempts to balance the often competing requirements of what brands and agencies value, with the experience that we would want to deliver for our users in order to invest in professional content. This is especially important in an era where advertisers are increasingly demanding quality inventory and society is more and more concerned with the provenance of content and news."

Mew added: “Despite the stall in ad blocking, it’s vital the industry doesn’t take its foot off the pedal in working to provide people with a better, lighter and more considerate online advertising experience which will discourage them from blocking ads altogether."

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