Along with The Netherlands, the German market is by far the most affected one by the ad blocking phenomenon. There, ad block use approaches 40% of the internet population.
The US market seems the less affected with 15%-17% of the internet population, again on average, using an ad blocking extension.
And thoughts on publisher reactions:
But the most potent response evolves around the idea of changing the commercial relationship between publishers and their customers. They could consider three different kind of deals:
– Option #1: use an ad blocking extension and face your preferred site displaying various annoying tricks that will deny or slow down access.
– Option #2: opt-in, i.e. register with a valid email address. Yes, you will get ads, but on a selective basis: No autoplay videos, no pop-in windows, etc. From the publisher’s perspective, an opt-in reader is more valuable than an anonymous one, and the loss on the number of formats can be offset by a stiffer rate-card.
– Option #3: simply subscribe and you get rid of any ads (except Branded Content that I see as another form of editorial — not my favorite one, for sure — but carrying the best value for publishers and the smaller inconvenience for users. Even better, entire sites and apps will load much faster, which is a solid argument when 50% of the audience reads through mobile.
This idea goes with several conditions: news publishers defining themselves as quality-oriented (lower audience but higher CPMs), acting in concert, and an ad community willing to focus on the quality of the campaign — as opposed to only betting on programmatic selling. None of which is a given.