Working From Home Spurs Ad Block Rates to Rise


Mobile and desktop ad-block rates are experiencing a gradual uptick, increasing by 11% in 2023 from 2021, according to ad-filtering tech firm Eyeo and its 2023 Ad-Filtering Report.

Buoyed by the work-from-home trend, the rate of ad blocking on desktops reached 27% by the end of the second quarter this year, according to the report by Eyeo. The ad-blocking rate on mobile phones is 22%.

The report forecasts that publishers around the world will lose $54 billion in ad revenue due to ad blocking in 2024—based on global ad spend figures—representing roughly 8% of total global ad spend. The report suggests the cost would be up to $116 billion if ad-filtering solutions didn’t exist.

Before 2021, rates of ad blockers leveled off after publishers introduced tactics like urging people to deactivate ad blockers to access content or adopting Acceptable Ads standards, which regulate criteria like ad size in order to show people lighter ads.

The increased adoption of mobile devices globally combined with people replicating their ad-blocking experiences from desktop to mobile has spiked the trend on mobile devices, said Jan Wittek, chief revenue officer, Eyeo. There’s a total of 912 million active ad-blocking users worldwide across mobile and desktop.

Despite receiving higher traffic, mobile pages tend to be less lucrative than desktop due to lower revenue per page (RPM). However, the continued shift in traffic from desktop to mobile means that Eyeo anticipates a rise in ad blockers on mobile devices. As of October 2023, the global split among mobile and desktop market share is at 53% and 45.5% respectively, according to Statcounter.

“Safari doesn’t have third-party cookies and obviously there’s third-party cookie demise happening,” said Ben Morrisroe, head of growth at ad-tech firm Publift. “There’s definitely a squeeze on publishers being able to monetize the users as well as we have been able to so far.”

Meanwhile, data from App Annie found that downloads of the top five dedicated ad-blocking apps in the U.S. saw a 17% increase from the second quarter of 2023 to the third quarter, rising from 115,000 to 134,000 across the Google Play app store.

Recouping revenue and gating content

In the last year, Raptive—which runs ad sales for titles like MacRumors and Stereogum—saw ad blocking rates average across its publishers of between 20% and 30% of users, according to chief strategy officer Paul Bannister.

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