Ad-Blocking Chalking Up Billions in Revenue Losses

Ad blocking will result in the loss of $21.8 billion worldwide in 2015, a new report from PageFair and Adobe says.

Per the report – The Cost of Ad Blocking -- the practice in the U.S. represented $5.8 billion in lost revenue last year, and is projected to reach $10.7 billion in 2015, and $20.3 billion in 2016. Global revenue losses tied to ad-blocking are expected to rise to $41.4 billion in 2016.

Adobe and PageFair also estimate that the number of ad block users worldwide has increased by 41% in the past 12 months, and up 48% in the U.S. between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2015. They also estimate that there are now about 198 million monthly active ad block users.

PageFair is eager to share the findings, as it provides ad-blocking counter solutions to web publishers, including a free service designed to help thousands of Web sites measure and recover revenues due to ad blocking. PageFair said it has tracked the growth of ad blocking for three years and now measures more than 1 billion ad-blockign hits every month across 3,000-plus client Web sites to help determine the types of content that is most affected by the practice.

“With many websites impacted with up to 27% lost ad inventory, ad blocking now poses an existential threat for the future of free content on the Internet,” the company said.

While ad-blocking has been historically concentrated on desktop browsers, mobile ad-blocking has begun to spread into Asia, PageFair said, noting that the trend will continue to rise on a global basis in September when the ability to block ads is introduced to the iOS platform.  

Firefox and Android currently lead ad-blocking usage in the mobile arena, with a 93% share, the company said.