Ad Blocking to Cost $27 Billion in Lost Revenue by 2020

StopMoneyHAMPSHIRE, England – Digital publishers stand to lose more than $27 billion in revenue by 2020, thanks to the growing availability of ad-blocking software, according to new estimates from Juniper Research.

A new research report, “Worldwide Digital Advertising: 2016-2020,” notes publishers are racing to overcome the increasing challenge posed by ad blockers. Over the next five years, developers are expected to ramp up, exponentially, their efforts to make ad-blockers more sophisticated and difficult to overcome.

While ad blocking is limited to browsing activities at present, publishers are likely to face the additional threat of in-app ad blockers in the future.
Apple and Three raise the stakes

Apple’s inclusion of content blocking software in iOS9 intensified the threat to ad revenues. Publishers soon will face additional challenges from mobile network operators. The operator Three already has announced plans to roll out network-level ad blocking to all of its customers, and Juniper expects more operators to follow suit.

“Adoption is being driven by consumer concerns over mobile data usage and privacy,” said Sam Barker, author of the research report. “They are also incentivized to adopt the technology in order to reduce page load times.”

Acceptable ad initiatives (AAI) such as Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page program are designed to increase trust in digital ads and discourage the use of ad blockers. Juniper argues such initiatives are a positive thing and vital to both publishers who rely on ad revenues and users who receive the content they demand.
Ad blocking poses big questions

The research indicated smaller publishers are most at risk from the rapid adoption of ad-blocking software as they often rely solely on revenues from advertising to continue operating. Ad blockers like Adblock Plus and Adblock Fast are witnessing increasing adoption of their products, especially from millennials and other younger browsers.

Publishers need to develop new strategies that encourage this demographic to view ads. Some websites — and, for example — have found success in blocking their content from those who use ad-blocking technology.

The whitepaper Digital Advertisers vs the Ad Blockers” offers more information about the issues and potential solutions. The report is available free on the Juniper website.

Marty O'Brien

Raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Marty O'Brien was the first of the O'Brien clan to obtain a college degree. A former sports journalist, O'Brien got a peek at the inner workings of the adult entertainment industry while on an assignment to cover the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the YNOT editorial team in late 2010 and now specializes in technology , business news and ogling starlets.

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