NAB 2016: Survey Finds Good News, Bad News for Ad Blocking

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

Las Vegas — A new survey released during the NAB Show finds that more than 60% of consumers are hip to several options for blocking ads, a number that jumps to nearly 70% for those under the age of 24.

But there was good news to be found in the new report from Accenture, which surveyed approximately 28,000 consumers across 28 countries: more than 40% of consumers said they would happily pay for content if it meant no advertising.

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“Ad blockers are a relatively new threat to the digital advertising industry,” said Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead. “Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for blockers because too many ads are poorly targeted. In today’s world of personalized content, being forced to watch an ad that has no relevance is a missed opportunity and feels increasingly intrusive on precious screen-time.

“In fact, simple avoidance of content associated with heavy and repetitive irrelevant advertising will increase as consumer choice and awareness of choice increases.”

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Roughly 66% of consumers ages 25 to 34 said they’re aware of ad blocking technologies, and awareness of ad blocking technologies is actually more prevalent in emerging markets, compared to developed markets (65% and 58%, respectively). Mexico scored highest when it came to consumer awareness of ad blocking, with 82% responding yes. The U.K. had the lowest awareness rate, at 55%

“There’s no point in following the music industry’s failed attempts at thwarting piracy,” Mann said. “It’s futile to focus all efforts on trying to outsmart ever-evolving ad-blocking technologies to force audiences to watch ads. The industry needs to do everything possible to make ads less of an infringement on precious screen time, by building on early successes that deliver targeted, relevant and entertaining ads – in a creative style appreciated by the individual.”