UK ad blocking boom peters out in latest survey snapshot

An ad blocking bonanza that led to an expected one-fifth of all UK internet users to install the software this year appears to have run its course, with the latest sector survey showing growth to have slowed to single digits.

The findings are detailed in eMarketer’s Ad Blocking in the UK 2018 report which found that 12.2 million Britons will block ads on their internet device this year, equivalent to 22% of all internet users, but lower than the equivalent rates of 25.2, 28.7 and 32% found in the US, France and Germany.

Looking ahead to 2019, these figures are expected to change only modestly with the absolute number of ad blocking web surfers rising to 12.8 million, equivalent to 22.9% of the internet population.

eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher said: “The growth in ad blocking users may be slowing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a problem to be dismissed. Revenues lost as a result of the practice remain substantial, so it’s incumbent upon the industry to continue to improve upon the digital ad experience, with better messaging around the benefits of an ad-supported model and ultimately better ads.”

An ad blocker is defined as someone who accesses the internet at least once per month and has purposefully enabled an ad blocker, discounting default ad filters such as that found in Google Chrome.