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Adblocking rates reach three-year low, but revenue losses climb: report

Tyrone Stewart

Stop hand signAdblocking rates are on the decline, falling by more than two per cent over the last few years, but publishers are now losing more money due to the software.

The Association of Online Publishing (AOP) carried out a three-year adblocking audit among its members, analysing data between Q1 2016 and Q4 2018, and found that adblocking rates had fallen to 10.3 per cent in 2018. By comparison, the average rates were 11.6 per cent in 2017 and 12.5 per cent in 2016.

Adblocking rates on desktop were found to have fallen to 20.5 per cent in Q2 2018, after peaking at 30.4 per cent in Q2 2016. Meanwhile, mobile adblocking rates doubled between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 to 2.4 per cent.

Though the overall levels of adblocking are falling, the AOP found that estimated ‘lost’ revenue had actually increased as a result of a rise in the number of overall impressions. The AOP’s members lost over £18.4m in 2018 – compared to £13.7m in 2017 – with the median annual publisher loss being £932,875.

“While it is positive to see adblocking rates fall, the effects on publisher revenues continues to cause concern. Online advertising continues to be a primary driver of premium publisher revenues, with display formats up 8.5 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017,” said Richard Reeves, managing director at AOP. “As adblocking usage on mobile devices increases, we will continue to monitor the impact of these trends, while promoting the need for collaboration and education to establish a safe and sustainable ecosystem for all.”