ADBLOCKING: A REVERSIBLE TREND?

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Adblocking, process that provides internet users to throw off online advertising, increases globally, both on mobile and on desktop. This practice, in the past reserved for the most technicians and the most informed, is today penetrating the navigation custom. Thus, it is necessary for online advertising participant to learn about this trend magnitude as well as its effects for the advertisers.

GEOGRAPHICAL PARTICULARITIES

According to the recent study drove by Kantar TNS “Connected for Life” (February 2017), European countries recorded the most important adblocker penetration rate (internet users number who downloaded an adblocker compared to the country digital population). Poland culminates at the top of the ranking with a 54% penetration rate while the European average is set at 30%. France is slightly above the European average with a 34% penetration rate.

According to the sample analyzed by Kantar, including the seven most developed Asian countries (Australia, Hong-Kong, Japan, New Zeeland, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan), Asian continent is widely less impacted by the phenomena with only 16% of the digital population who downloaded adblocker.

 Pourcentage

PRACTICE DEMOCRATIZATION

If a number of continents are less affected, the adblock downloaded  number is undeniably widely growing. In the United-States, one of the most important online advertising market, adblocker penetration rate increased from 11,9% in 2014 to 17,7% in 2016 on both desktop and laptop. And on mobile the penetration rate increased from 2.3% in 2014 to 5,9% in 2016. If these numbers suggest a trend affirmation with the local online advertising markets development, it is important to take account of few parameters to fairly evaluate the situation.

ADBLOCKING AND CONNECTIVTY RATE

The internet consumption habits play an important role in the phenomena advent. The European population is a more assiduous internet consumers than the other continent populations. During the Kantar period study, it has been noticed that 95% of the Luxembourg digital population was connected at least one time a week, and 92% for Netherlands and the Norway. On the same period, only 77% of the US population was connected at that frequency and 30% for India. Thus, there would be a positive correlation between connectivity rate and the adblocker installation.

 Conectivty rate

THREE MAIN MOTIVATIONS…

Almost half of the 51 125 internet users from de 34 countries aged 16-64 years old asked by GlobalWebIndex in 2016 signified that one of the principal adblocker installation motivation was to delete the intrusive online advertising, in other words advertising that impede and obstruct the internet user web navigation. 33% of the respondents expressed a technical motivation, which means they install adblock to upgrade the internet page loaded time. Lastly, the motivation to protect the digital intimacy is mentionned, in other words the willingness to limit personal data exploitation.

…SHARED BY THE 18-24 YEARS OLD POPULATION

We considered there is a suitable geographical difference about the adblocker penetration, but we have to admit the difference is demographic too. Actually, the internet users aged 0-11 years old are the population part that download adblocker the less frequently. To the contrary, population aged 18-24 years old is by far the most important adblocker consumer. In US, almost 40,5% of digital population aged 18-24 is equipped by this plug-in, all devices combined. According to eMarketer, they will be more and more numerous, with a adblocker penetration rate forecast of 51% by 2018.

INEXISTANT LOSSES FOR ADVERTISER

If we can’t deny the adblocker download number growth, we must be careful to not overestimate the adblockers negatives impact for the advertisers. At most, that represent a small advertising space loss, because none of the ads blocked by an adblocker is paid by the advertiser. Indeed, the ads are not accounted as viewed because the adblocker prevent the possibility for adserver to call the ads. Thus, only publisher suffer losses because of this phenomena.

TOWARDS A REVERSIBLE TREND

Estimations proposed nowadays don’t take account of the potential online advertising form evolution. They must be scale down considering the publishers  willingness to take account for the internet users motivation to install an adblocker to reverse the trend. Some websites have started an educational process by informing internet users about the digital economy rules and the fundamental role played by advertising. Such initiatives possibly generate awareness and limit the “passager clandestin” effect, the fact for an internet user to benefit from online content for free. Furthermore, by going to premium display, in other words by reducing the number of ads on the same page, and by fostering consumer smart target, the intrusiveness feeling nowadays linked to the online advertising will be successfully limited.

If the adblocker download number increased in the past five years, this trend is far from being irreversible. The online advertising ecosystem premiumization is a solution that benefit simultaneously to internet users, because of the decreased of the intrusiveness feeling, and to advertisers, because of the internet users online advertising repulsion decreased. To this end, advertisers have to be ready to compensate losses linked to the transfer from a quantitative advertising to a qualitative one.