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Jan. 26, 2016, 12:13 p.m.
Mobile & Apps
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   January 26, 2016

Thirty-seven percent of mobile users in 34 countries say they’ve blocked ads at some point on mobile in the last few months of last year, according to research from market research firm Global Web Index. That puts mobile adblocking percentages on par with the firm’s numbers for adblocking on desktop, which it pegged at 38 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

GWI’s research also indicates that 42 percent of the mobile users it surveyed hadn’t yet used an adblocker on their phones, but would be interested in doing so in the future (21 percent of those surveyed were apparently not interested in using an adblocker in the future).

These are extremely high percentages, given the low-single-digit mobile adblocking percentages we heard from publishers back in December (and heard again this month from Quartz publisher Jay Lauf). The GWI survey asked a cohort of 36,895 mobile web users whether they blocked ads on mobile at any point, “not whether they do it all the time,” GlobalWebIndex research and insight director Jason Mander clarified in an email. (It’s also possible those surveyed might have a different idea what it means to “block” an ad, like tapping an “×” to make one go away.)

These global mobile adblocking percentages reported by GWI are “dragged up” a bit by higher rates of adblocking in Asia, according to Mander, who also pointed out that “Asia contains so many of the world’s internet users, and mobile users in particular.” (UC Browser, for instance, popular in India and China, has adblocking built into its mobile browser, and boasts more than half a billion users). Not surprisingly, young men between the ages of 16 and 24 in the Asian-Pacific countries surveyed are the biggest users of adblocking on mobile, according to GWI’s research.

“Generally speaking, there seems to be a strong correlation between heavy usage of the mobile internet and likelihood of using mobile ad-blockers,” Mander said. “Given how high-profile the arrival of ad-blockers on mobile has been, and how attractive they sound, I think it’s reasonable to expect high uptake, especially in groups where load times and data allowances matter the most.”

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