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Ad blocking to cost US media owners $12bn by 2020


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

May 17, 2016 | 3 min read

The rise of ad blockers is set to continue to such an extent that it will cost media owners in the U.S. $12.1bn in lost display ad revenues, with forecasting this amounts to a 23.8 per cent impact on earlier forecast earnings.

According to’s ad blocker tracking data, 11.7 per cent of online display ad impressions were blocked in 2015 in the U.S., with the company using this data plus details extrapolated from a consumer survey by Wells Fargo Security to forecast that further forecast that display ad revenues for U.S. media owners will amount to $38.8bn, instead of the earlier forecast $50bn.

Ad Blocking in US 2020 publisher data from early 2016 shows that over 90 per cent of ad blocked impressions are still coming from desktop (and not mobile) browsing. Although the growth of ad blocking on mobile will intensify, as consumers’ web browsing habits migrate to such devices, and online audiences increasingly see ads as disruptive.

For instance, mobile popup ads are considered 3.7 times worse than TV ads by those we surveyed, with mobile video ads seen as 2.4 times more annoying, according to the pair’s survey.’s data goes on to reveal that 45 per cent of those surveyed are not yet blocking ads due to lack of awareness of software (see chart below for further sentiments revealed in the survey).

US consumer sentiment to ad blocking

Rob Leathern,, founder and chief executive, said: “Many technology companies (erroneously) believe they can get users to trust not only their browser, network or device as a communications tool, but also as a place to safeguard their personal information.”

He later highlighted how younger users are more likely to trust technology companies to provide solutions to safeguard their personal data, but even so, over 37 per cent of 18-29 year olds don’t trust any entity to safeguard their information rising to over 62 per cent for those aged-plus, according to the data.

For further information in the study see here


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