Study: Rising Adblocking Rates In 2018 To Hit Publisher Revenues

Study: Rising Adblocking Rates In 2018 To Hit Publisher Revenues
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Adblocking and analytics blocking in Australia is expected to grow in 2018 due to immanent changes in browser technology and current low rates of adblocking on mobile, according to new research conducted by advertising technology business Oriel Ventures in partnership with media technology sales house Teleskope.

The research, based on Oriel’s proprietary tracking of over 20 million devices, reveals on average a 25 per cent block rate for desktop and two per cent on mobile which is in line with recent IAB research. While desktop adblock rates fluctuate from site to site, mobile remains consistent around the average. However both mobile and desktop is expected to rise with Google Chrome releasing their new native ad filter this month.

Oriel, represented by media technology sales partner – Teleskope, have adblocking analytics code on a selection of Australia’s largest publishers. This tracking code which has been implemented on both desktop and mobile websites provides extensive insight on the extent of the issue in Australia.

Publishers can expect eight mobile and four desktop advertising formats to be blocked with this release, which potentially could impact their bottom lines significantly. Additionally, over 30 per cent of adblocking technology users block all analytics and tracking, with that number continuing to climb. Combined with Apple’s recent announcement of cookie blocking on Safari 11, and Facebook’s updating of newsfeed algorithms to reduce publisher traffic, publishers are getting it from all corners.

Aidan Joyce, CEO of Oriel, said: “While mobile block rates today are relatively low, the research shows that adblocking on desktop traffic can be extremely high. In fact we have seen adblock rates on individual sites as high as 50 per cent with video pre-roll and native posts also being blocked.

“Other sites have seen as much as 36 per centof their adblocked audience also blocking analytics. This includes Nielsen, ComScore, Moat, Google Analytics and Tag Managers which is far from good news for publishers. With a significant portion of publisher revenues being earned from desktop pages, there is a greater financial impact.”

Publishers who proceed with unblocking their analytics, could see spikes in traffic which may impact their monthly Nielsen ratings and potentially provide them with an unfair advantage. They are encouraged to act now before the anticipated Google changes come into effect and consider working with trusted vendors to help them understand and monitor the true extent of ad and analytics blocking on their respective sites and help monitor and plan for future changes.

Dinesh Arasaratnam, managing partner at Teleskope added: “Currently, it’s an effort to install an adblocker on mobile, hence the low block rates, while desktop is relatively easy. This will change with browsers such as Chrome releasing native adblocking features on both desktop and mobile. Even if it’s not a default setting, it will be easy to turn on so publishers will inevitably be impacted.  Acting now and taking a proactive approach to ad blocking means that you can plan and prevent significant disruption to your business.”

Three tips for publishers addressing ad blocking:

  1. Understand the true extent of analytics blocking. As mentioned, analytics are being blocked so the tech you are using now may not be correct.
  2. Unblock analytics and specific formats that you are selling out of. This may include video and branded content.
  3. Unblock a percentage of your site visitors first to see the impact before rolling out to the rest of the sites.

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