History will now confirm that 2015 truly was the year ad blocking came to stay. It stole the spotlight mid year and numbers were released that had marketers at the edge of their seats. Ad blocking usage had grown 41% in the last 12 months and $10.7 billion in U.S. ad revenue was expected to be lost throughout the year. A staggering 2/3 of Millennials block ads, which is a legitimate concern considering that advertisers spend 500% more of their ad budgets on Millennials than all other generations combined. Piece this together with a significant lack of interest and engagement we can argue that the chunk of campaign spending on display ads is money thrown into the fire.
With Apple embracing ad-blocking software in September, consumers were left with a voracious appetite to utilize it and became far more cognizant of their abilities. At this point the concern amongst marketers led to novel viewpoints that shifted into opportunism and sparked a sense of rethinking. A higher awareness for user experience and an increased affinity for creativity has steamrolled marketers to turn their heads 180 degrees – Content marketing, native and social initiatives are now in full view of marketers’ eyesight. These practices are laying the foundation for a vast market with many niche branches.
Ad blocking is not only contributing to these practices flourishing but has opened up the room for an entirely new sub segment of digital analytics – ad-blocking analytics. A study conducted by Cxense and Editor & Publisher found that only 16.9% of publishers are able to track the ad-blocking activity occurring on their websites. Compounding this information, those using Google Analytics can track the use of AdBlock, but not any other ad-blocking software. This causes a transparency issue for publishers whom are unable to demonstrate if and how many ads are blocked. Now, will we see a wave of ad blocking analytics software breeze in to the market? Numerous digital marketing analytics companies may only be a few steps away from creating an additional solution or add-on that will measure ad-blocking activity.
Let’s also take into account that ad blocking is a global occurrence. With 668 million online users, China is now quickly raising its awareness towards ad blocking. Reports confirm that 10-12% of ads delivered to personal computers are being blocked. In Europe ad blocking is being highly embraced with countries like Sweden and Germany both boasting a +30% ad-blocking rate. Where ad blocking lives, so does the need for ad blocking analytics software, presenting innovators with a worldwide selection of markets to explore.
Publishers also revealed that they are in dire need of consulting, with 52.8% reporting a complete lack of strategy to address ad blocking and 32.6% reporting that they are unaware if a strategy is in place.
Publisher uncertainty and inability is fueling a new development of analytics. Keep eyes and ears open – this new wave of analytics integration, consulting and a plethora of new market activities may just be around the corner.
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