20.9 per cent of all UK internet users will use ad blocking software this year, representing a 10.3 per cent growth year-on-year. That’s 11.4m people.
According to eMarketer’s latest forecasts, 89 per cent of the 11.4m people will block ads on desktop or laptop PC, while 33.8 per cent will block ads on smartphones. The overlap representing people that block on multiple devices.
Looking ahead to 2018, overall growth will slow to 8.1 per cent, reaching 22.2 per cent of UK internet users – or 12.3m. The gap between PCs and smartphone ad blocking will begin to close in 2018 – 87.4 per cent versus 37.3 per cent – but adoption of software will still be a long way behind on mobile.
“The rate of growth in ad blocking users still presents a very real problem for advertisers and marketers,” said eMarketer’s senior UK analyst Bill Fisher. “However, the threat hasn’t taken off quite as quickly as we’d originally thought. Some of the publisher responses to the problem have had positive effects, indicating that UK internet users may be persuaded to turn off their ad blocking software if the benefits of ad-supported content can be better communicated and the advertising better delivered.”
eMarketer also estimates that 52.4 per cent of ad blocker users will be male in 2017, a proportion that will drop to 50.8 per cent in 2018. Furthermore, while millennials represent the largest proportion of software usage, other age groups are growing. For instance, in 2018, 24.7 per cent of ad blocker users will be in the 34 to 44-year-old age group.