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10 Ad Blocker Stats Every Internet User Should Know
Updated · Aug 08, 2023
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The Internet was a free, open space where one could hop from site to site uninterrupted. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to scroll without seeing an ad every 5-seconds.
While ads are a great way for companies to make money and help people with their purchase decisions, they can be repetitive or irrelevant and disrupt their scrolling experience. If you’ve ever found yourself downloading an adblocker or manually blocking ads on social media, we get you.
In fact, you’re probably one of the 42.7% of internet users worldwide who use ad blockers. Here are some other valuable stats for you!
How Many People Use Ad Blockers?
There were 763.5 million ad block users globally in the last quarter of 2019, with ad blockers expanding from desktops to smartphones. The user base then reached 520 million monthly in 2020.
Ads typically come as:
- Embedded videos
Using an ad blocker to remove these can make your browsing experience more pleasant. Let’s examine how many people use ad blockers!
Statistics on Ad Block Usage
About 40% of US internet users utilize an ad blocker on any device. However, there's a notable distinction between user-reported and detected ad blocked sessions, which often indicate far lower ad blocker usage than users themselves report in surveys.
On the other hand, AudienceProject detected ad blocker use in 18% of desktop sessions and 7% of mobile sessions in Q2 2020, but 37% and 15% of surveyed users revealed they were using an ad blocker on either device, respectively.
However, why exactly are people so eager to get rid of ads? Let’s find out!
1. 22.3% of internet users use ad blockers because of “Too many ads on the internet.”
With millions of ads online, an average person is the target of at least a thousand ads daily. For most people, the ads they encounter are repetitive, irrelevant, and overwhelming. These affect a user’s browsing experience.
Ads can even increase a user’s data usage and put their privacy at risk, which is enough evidence to explain why millions of ad blocker users worldwide exist.
2. 40% of internet users globally use an ad blocker.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to substantial online population growth worldwide, allowing the industry to cater to a larger audience.
Research says the Asia-Pacific region is a more attractive market for online advertisers as the top advertising market in 2022. This market dominance explains why India has the second-highest usage rate at 50.7% for ad blockers, trailing Indonesia at 56.8%.
3. A survey from 2019 found that 66.7% of users in the US use ad blockers to avoid auto-playing video ads.
(Insider Intelligence, AdLock, AdGuard)
Online ads are already irritating enough, and the increasing number of online auto-playing video ads makes them the most hated. Moreover, ads can consume up to 79% of your mobile data.
It is no wonder that people are finding ways to avoid these ads, as they influence their overall experience.
🎉 Fun Fact: While video ads may be a turn-off for users, they’re important tools for online advertisers. Whether they liked it or not, 80% of people remember video ads they’ve viewed in the past 30 days.
Ad Blocker Industry Statistics
About 35.2% of internet users in the UK were using an ad blocker in Q3 2020. It's lower than the average global ad blocking rate of 42.7% in the same period. This trend in UK users could result from several factors, such as cultural mindsets towards online advertising and a lack of awareness of ad blockers.
Regardless, the ad blocker industry is alive and well in the rest of the world. Let’s check out some stats!
4. By July 2022, over 62 top US publishers used at least one ad block monetization strategy.
(WNIP, Adweek, FourWeekMBA)
While ad revenue remains one of the publishers’ primary sources of income, they start to feel the pinch as more internet users turn to ad block plugins for an ad-free online experience.
However, that does not mean publishers can’t make the most of the situation. They can use ad block monetization strategies to profit from people unwilling to turn off their ad blockers. They can:
- request for whitelisting your website
- ask users for their emails
- enhance user experience
- make built-in ads in podcasts or videos
60 out of 100 US publishers found Acceptable Ads the most reliable way to recover losses due to ad blocking. However, only 29% of the publishers have planned their ad block recovery strategy, including CafeMedia, which recovered over a million dollars of revenue.
Another way that publishers make money is through subscription plans. Since the decline of print media, subscriptions have been especially popular among journalism websites like the New York Times.
They generated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2022. From this, subscriptions generated $1.55 billion from subscriptions, thrice what they earned from advertising ($523 million) and six times more than their other revenue streams ($232 million)
5. Each site visitor blocking ads reduces traffic by 0.67% over 35 months.
(Research Gate, Ayima)
A 2021 report shows that ad blockers lead to a loss in tracking data that is used primarily for:
- identifying audience needs
- improving website performance and marketing strategies
- making data-driven decisions
Adblockers render website owners unable to improve their user experience. Websites that don't have the data from their audiences may need help providing content over time, thus affecting their revenue.
🎉 Fun Fact: There’s a reason why user experience or UX is important for users. 74% of visitors are likely to return to a site if it has good mobile UX.
6. Ad blockers shaved $14.2 billion off consumer spending in 2021.
Spending on digital ads in the US alone will reach $201 billion by 2023, more than two-thirds of the total expenditure. With consumers increasing their online shopping, advertisers continue to upgrade their data and technologies to find innovative ways to reach their target audiences.
On the other hand, ad-blocking software reduces users' online search engine sessions by 5.6%. They also spend 5.5% less time on e-commerce websites. Conversely, users who block ads browse and shop significantly less than others.
Ad Blocker Trends Statistics
The internet is ripe with ads, and there’s no place you can see them more than on social media. 71% of Instagram’s total accounts use it for business. Facebook, TikTok, and WhatsApp follow a similar trend as well.
60.66% of all traffic comes from mobile users. With the recent expansion of ad blockers onto the mobile market, more and more advertisers fear a dent in their revenue stream. Despite alternative monetization methods such as paywalls or membership content, ad-based monetization is most publishers' primary income source.
Check out these four key trends to understand your target audience and make your future campaign a hit.
7. In 2021, about 27% of US users have started removing their ads.
The previous estimation suggests that the US ad-blocking user penetration rate stood at approximately 26% in 2020, indicating that around 73 million internet users had installed some form of ad-blocking software, plugin, or browser on their web-enabled devices that year.
With this, advertisers are at risk of losing precious revenue. So much so that even YouTube has launched its plans to block users with ad blockers.
8. In the US, computers still account for 37% of all ad blocker usage, with mobile devices coming in second (15%) and tablets coming in third (10%).
(Audience Project, Interactive Advertising Bureau)
Alt tag: Ad blockers are most popular with PCs.
Many desktop computer users and mobile device owners use ad blocking software to remove advertisements from the sites they visit.
The common reason for using ad blockers on computers is easier site navigation. Meanwhile, according to the study, the top reason for using ad blockers on mobile devices is faster browsing and page load times.
9. Ad blockers caused a $35 billion loss in publishers’ ad revenue in 2020.
(Setupad, Digiday, Ionos)
In 2016, Informa Group's research calculated that ad blockers lost billions of dollars by 2020 due to publishers' persistent responses to the ad-blocking threat. As a result, 50% of the top publishers focused on subscription-based content as their primary revenue source in 2020.
Subscription-based content offers users ad-free access to the content on a subscription or one-time payment basis, also known as a paywall.
🎉 Fun Fact: One of the trendiest platforms for subscription-based content is OnlyFans. After blowing up in the past three years, it now boasts a daily sign-up rate of 500,000 new users. Overall, the platform boasts a 190 million-strong user base. 2.1 million of which are creators.
Another subscription platform, Patreon, has 200,000 creators earning over $100 million monthly.
10. As of 2018, over 100 publishers have been using Google’s Consent Management Platform.
(Digiday, Marketing Dive)
Google’s consent management platform is called Funding Choices. This program allows publishers to show site visitors a customized message using an ad blocker to either turn off the software or pay for a pass that offers an ad-free experience through Google Contributor.
👍 Helpful Articles: Ad block stats may sound dire for advertisers, but the ad business is still alive and well. Check out some of our useful articles to know more about online advertising:
In a much simpler way, ad blockers exist to create a better user experience. People want to browse and scroll peacefully. In general, many find ad blockers beneficial as they prevent them from encountering unwanted and unsolicited ads popping up or showing up on their screens.
People’s internet consumption is unlikely to stop anytime soon. With that, ad blockers challenge advertisers to innovate and find better ways to reach and engage consumers.
What percentage of people use an ad blocker?
At least 42.7% of internet users worldwide use an ad blocker.
Do ad blockers reduce data usage?
Research states that ad blockers can reduce data consumption by 40%.
What percentage of millennials use ad blockers?
In 2017, at least 41.1% of millennials used ad blockers.
What percentage of YouTube viewers use ad blockers?
Based on a survey, more than 63% said they don’t use ad blockers on YouTube, while a small number do, which is only 11%.
How many people use ad blockers every day?
At least 6 in 10 people use an ad blocker daily.
What are the most used ad blockers?
Some of the top ad blockers are TotalAdBlock, AdLock, and AdGuard.
Can you turn off an ad blocker?
You can turn your ad blocker off, making ads appear more prominently on your screen.
Are ad blockers legal?
So far, no laws against ad blockers allow users to choose the content they want to see.
Is it necessary to use ad blockers?
Using ad blockers is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
Can ad blockers stop viruses?
Ad blockers like TotalAdBlock typically stop certain page elements from loading, prevent infected scripts, and stop any malicious ads with phishing links.
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