Almost 30 per cent of Australian consumers are now using ad blocking technology on one of their devices according to a new study released today by IAB Australia and conducted by Pureprofile.
According to the IAB AdBlocking in Australia study, a fear of viruses and malware is the most common reason for installing the software (20 per cent of respondents), but 16 per cent of respondents reported that they had installed the ad blocker because they felt there were too many ads on sites. The study also found Ad blockers are used primarily on desktops and laptops, with only 6 per cent of people having ad blockers on mobile devices.
The research was conducted by IAB’s Adblocking Taskforce to gain a clear understanding of how and why ad blockers are being used in the Australian market. The study will be replicated every six months.
The study found that many consumers are open to modifying their ad-blocking habits with the right communication from websites and identified four ways to encourage consumers to stop using ad blockers:
- Assure users of site safety: Provide guarantees that site and ads are secure, malware- and virus-free, and won’t slow down browsing.
- Focus on ads that limit interruption of content flow and do not take an excessive amount of time to load.
- Polite messaging to turn off their ad blocker or whitelist a site in exchange for viewing content.
- Some sites may choose to limit content availability for users of ad blockers who do not turn off their blockers. IAB Australia members have access to an Ad Block Detection Code to help provide better communication with site visitors about ad blocking and to get a more consistent understanding of the scope of ad blocker usage.
The Adblocking Taskforce is now working on Guidelines and a program that address the four recommendations, as well as general market education activities for consumers, media and creative agencies.
According to IAB CEO Vijay Solanki, the results have highlighted the key areas for the industry to address.
“As an industry it’s vital that we continue to evolve and improve ad experiences for consumers, drawing on the LEAN ad principles to produce lighter, more relevant and quality creative. We also need to educate consumers on the safety of ad supported sites as there is clearly some confusion about advertising delivering viruses simply because many ad blocking tools are packaged with anti-virus software. Finally we need to educate consumers about the value exchange that can be offered by ads, allowing them access to content,” said Solanki.
Other findings from the study include:
- 4 out of 10 Australian don’t know about ad blockers
- 7 in 10 people have been asked by a site to turn off their ad blocker to gain access to content; of these 62 per cent have taken an action after a site request (turned off or deleted blocker, whitelisted site)
- 14 per cent of those who do not currently use ad blockers have used one in the past
- The actions that will best influence consumers to stop using ad blockers include:
- Site messaging asking them to turn off their ad blocker (46 per cent)
- Favourite site blocked content (34 per cent)
- Frequent blocked content on site (36 per cent)
- Guarantee from sites that ads:
- Are safe from viruses (43 per cent)
- Are cover content (42 per cent)
- Will not slow browsing (41 per cent)
- Will not autoplay videos even if audio muted (41 per cent)
- Will not autoplay video or audio (37 per cent)
The findings from the AdBlocking in Australia study are consistent with other markets, with Australia on par with the US and slightly ahead of UK averages. The Australian ad-blocking study was carried out in October 2016, and surveyed 1,864 online Australians on their knowledge and experience regarding ad blocking technologies.
The IAB Australia Ad Blocking Taskforce includes representatives from Carsales, Celtra, Fairfax Media, Google, Ikon, News Corp, Nine Entertainment Co., Sizmek, Telstra, Yahoo7 and Zenith Optimedia.