Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
How risky is it for journalists to cover protests?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 9, 2015, 11:29 a.m.

The number of Americans using adblockers will grow over the next three months, according to a report released today by Digital Content Next, a trade group representing online publishers.

The study estimates that about a third of American consumers are “very likely or somewhat likely” to try adblockers in the next three months.

“We estimate about half of the ‘very likely’ responders and one quarter of the ‘somewhat likely’ responders — a net take rate of 9 percent — will opt out of advertising in the next three months,” DCN research director Rande Price said in a statement.

Sixteen percent of American Internet users, or 45 million people, blocked ads in the second quarter of this year, according to a widely cited study by Adobe and PageFair, a company that sells publishers tools to fight back against adblockers.

Digital Content Next’s members include publishers like ESPN, The Financial Times, The Daily Caller, and About.com. The group is only releasing the full report to its members, but here are some of the findings it’s sharing publicly:

— More than 70 percent [of respondents] dislike ads that expand over content or play with sound.
— 68 percent are concerned when ads track their behavior.
— 57 percent note their web pages load too slowly with ads.

“On a scale of one to ten, my concern is at a level eight or nine — our industry has ignored consumer concerns and now these same consumers are speaking up by installing ad blocking software,” Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint said in a statement. “We need leaders across the industry to focus on providing better experiences, transparency, and controls that will solve this issue.”

DCN conducted 25 executive and consumer interviews and used an outside research firm to survey 1,000 American adults for the report.

The abridged version of the report also offers tips and suggestions for how publishers should be thinking about adblockers. In order to properly combat adblockers, DCN said outlets must improve “performance, privacy and security” to win back users’ trust:

While performance is most easily measured and solved, the other two areas have the ability to accelerate ad blocking in the marketplace. Fundamentally, ad blocking is driven by billions of dollars being invested in automation of advertising and related technologies without enough attention on the consumer. This area warrants the most attention. Industry ad tech associations like the IAB and NAI will need to play a role in developing practical solutions.

Kint was one of the panelists at an event Nieman Lab held in New York last week to discuss the impact of adblocking, and he highlighted many of these same concerns then.

Show tags
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
How risky is it for journalists to cover protests?
Plus: Exploring why women leave the news industry, the effects of opinion labels, and susceptibility to disinformation.
Coming to a Hawaii library near you: Honolulu Civil Beat is hosting pop-up newsrooms around the state
“We learned that people have an interest if they can get to us.”
How the Covid-19 pandemic pushed preprint-based journalism into the mainstream
“Verifying preprints appeared to be a real challenge for journalists, even for those with advanced science education.”