One of the features of our Buddy Guard Kid Safe app is ad blocking. We’re of two minds about this feature as predominantly most media on the Internet utilises an Ad funding model. Google’s Global Net Advertising revenue in 2015 was $51.81B USD. In 2015 Facebook generated $17.08 billion USD in ad revenues. So clearly advertising is important, but we build products that make the web a better place for broadband users, so those users opinion is what matters most to us.
The motivations behind ad blocking are varied. Surprisingly, according to GWI, privacy concerns are not a major driving force behind the use of ad blocking technology. Although internet users who implement ad-blockers are slightly more likely than the average internet user to express privacy and data-related worries, just 30% of the people who are blocking ads do so because of concerns about privacy. Only 25% dislike ads which are served up based on their personal browsing history. It’s not that these privacy concerns are unimportant, it’s just that there are bigger issues for advertisers to consider.
According to GWI’s finding key issues here “is that no matter the gender, age or income of the person, or the part of the world in which they live, they are most likely to be blocking ads because they feel that too many of them are annoying or irrelevant and because they believe there are too many ads on the internet.”
Until there is better control over the quantity and quality of advertising, and the user experience is prioritised over the quantity of ads served through personalisation, then people are still going to block ads on desktop and on mobile devices.
Traditionally the thinking is that mobile ad blocking is being enabled by users looking to reduce data spend or improve battery life and to improve the speed of their internet browsing – this isn’t the case. While these issues are important, especially in the emerging mobile markets, only a third of users have these concerns. It’s clear from the GWI research that mobile ad-blocker users are primarily driven by advertising overload.
Desktop blocking is an established behavior across all parts of the world, but GWI says that it’s North America that has the highest rates for desktop blocking. It’s in the APAC where savvy mobile users lead the way for mobile ad-blocking – with a rate nearly twice as high when compared to the uptake of Europe, the US & Canada.
The majority of mobile ad blocking occurs via a browser plug-in but if more if more carriers decide to adopt network level Value Added services like Buddy Guard and which make ad-blocking a simple to implement option we can only predict that end users will choose this option to enhance their online experience on their mobile device.