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Ad blocking software is “the Napster of the advertising industry” firm claims as level of users hits nearly 150m


By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

September 9, 2014 | 2 min read

About 144 million browsers have some form of adblocker installed, research carried out for Adobe found.

The research, which was produced by PageFair, found that the majority of adblockers are plug-ins for either Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

PageFair founder Sean Blanchfield warned that millennials – the ones who the online ads are most likely to be aimed at – are also the ones most likely to be using adblockers, with 41 per cent of American internet users aged between 18 and 29 used adblocking software.

It was this that led Blanchfield to describe adblockers as “like the Napster of the advertising industry”.

“It’s millennials. You can basically see a large cohort of adblockers growing up – as adblockers. And this isn’t good news for the advertising industry, or publishers.”

He added: “The thing about advertising is that the end user isn’t part of that contract; the contract is between the publisher and the advertiser. And the end user who installs Adblock really isn’t mindful of the fact that they’re impacting the revenue of the publisher.”

The report found that adblock usage grew by nearly 70 per cent in a year, with adblock penetration on Google Chrome almost doubling between June 2013 and June 2014.

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