Newspaper article International New York Times

Report Sees Loss of $22 Billion from Blocking of Online Ads

Newspaper article International New York Times

Report Sees Loss of $22 Billion from Blocking of Online Ads

Article excerpt

Ad blocking will lead to almost $22 billion of lost advertising revenue this year, according to a report put together by Adobe and PageFair.

Guillermo Beltra spends a lot of time surfing the web. Yet like many avid Internet users, Mr. Beltra hates the annoying pop-up advertisements that litter many websites. "It's just very cumbersome," he said.

Mr. Beltra, a Spaniard who works for a consumer protection organization in Brussels, decided to block the pop-ups by downloading software for his desktop web browser that prevents him from seeing any advertising on the sites he visits.

While he acknowledged that advertising was often the primary source of income for many websites, Mr. Beltra said he remained wary of how much data companies were collecting on his online activities.

"If I don't know what data is being collected on me, I'd rather block it," he added.

Mr. Beltra is just one of an increasing number of Internet users who are taking sophisticated measures to sidestep efforts by broadcasters, publishers and advertisers to sell their wares online.

The prominence of this so-called ad-blocking software is highlighted in a report being released on Monday by two companies opposed to the software.

Ad blocking will lead to almost $22 billion of lost advertising revenue this year, according to the report, put together by Adobe and PageFair, a Dublin-based start-up that helps companies and advertisers recoup some of this lost revenue. Gaming, social network and other tech-related websites were the most affected by ad- blocking software, the report added.

The figure represents a 41 percent rise compared to the previous 12 months, and the levels of ad-blocking activity now top more than a third of all Internet users in some countries, particularly in Europe, the study said.

The report comes as companies grow anxious that their efforts to reach users through increasingly sophisticated online ads are having little effect. …

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