Ad Blocking Puts $32 Billion at Risk Globally by 2019

We recently collaborated with Wells Fargo Securities on a survey of US smartphone users, asking them about their ad blocking preferences, and as a result we produced a US model of display ad revenue lost to blocking ($12.1 billion by 2020, the full model is available with registration here). The data we shared also assisted Wells Fargo (along with MagnaGlobal figures) to produce the following estimates of global ad spend at risk from ad-blocking. You’ll need to be an accredited investor to read their report and see their reasoning, but they gave us permission to reproduce the top-level figures here ($ in millions):

wells-chart

We think these global figures are quite conservative. The positive drivers we identified for the US projection model we built included:

  • New technical approaches for blocking
  • FTC action on deceptive ads
  • State attorneys general action on mobile ad data use
  • Better blocker app store visibility
  • Security companies enter block market
  • National media attention
  • Robust blocking browser availability
  • Generational blocking acceptance
  • Foreign actions against blocking blocking
  • Carrier-level blocking

And some of the negative drivers /hinderances included:

  • Vendors blocking adblockers
  • First-party serving
  • Native advertising increases
  • Legal actions against blocking
  • Foreign actions against blocking
  • Exemptable types of advertising

We encourage discussion around these, and have formulated some suggestions to improve the dysfunctional online advertising ecosystem.

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