ADOTAS – Adblock Plus, a leading browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements, is predicting three things for the new year:
1. We’re Not Gonna Take It!: There is already a massive consumer backlash to online advertising seen by the increase in adblocker downloads year after year. 2014 will be the year that users try and take back their Internet.
2. Ad Industry Response: The ad industry must respond to the juxtaposition of the increase in online ads and the increase in adblockers. The ad industry must deal with the outcry to make ads less intrusive.
3. User Awareness Increases: In 2014 users will shed more light on the black box of online advertising. For years, Internet surfers have been kept in the dark as advertisers experiment with new formats and track users invisibly. But things like Mozilla’s Lightbeam and the rise in adblocking have given users greater ability to gain some control back.
Ad fatigue could be responsible for the consumer backlash on Internet advertising. Ad Fatigue is when people stop looking at ads and start looking at adblocker install instructions instead. Ad fatigue is caused by over-zealous ad bombardment, but who can blame the advertisers? Half-year Internet ad revenue hit a historic high this year, clocking in at $20.1 billion, according to the IAB.
Adblock Plus has recently seen download numbers of 2 million per week. In addition, when comparing September to December 2013 to the same period in 2012, download numbers for this year show growth of almost 60% (59.10%). But if adblocking downloads and ad revenue are both rising, it would seem that someone’s not understanding what’s really going on.
Consider some research:
- According to a recent Adobe study, the least loved ad formats in the US are social media, digital magazines and apps – while favored formats include print and TV ads.
- In the same Adobe study, 0% of respondents preferred to look at an ad in an app and only 2% and 3% preferred ads on social media and news sites, respectively, when compared to other formats.
- Adobe’s study found that 54% of the respondents said that banner ads don’t work. According to another study, the average banner ad has a 0.1% click-through rate (CTR), and the standard banner has a 0.04% CTR.
- In general, video ads are expected to have increased 41.4% year-over-year in 2013.
- Just this week it was reported that Facebook would start serving up video ads right in time for Christmas. Adding to the social media ad blitz are all the planned new formats on Twitter after its IPO filing.
“It has been interesting to watch the trends unfold this year in the world of online advertising,” said Till Faida, co-founder, Adblock Plus. “On the one hand, the 800-pound gorillas are flexing their muscles by increasing their online advertising footprint. And we see positive signs from the advertisers, like the direction toward non-intrusiveness heralded by native ads, for instance. That being said, there are plenty of negative ones, too.
“Going into 2014,” continued Faida, “I anticipate a general trend toward more transparency for end users. With knowledge, people will seek out tools that give them power over their online experience. Advertisers can continue to make money, but they will need to reckon with empowered users who know the tools needed to take back control of their Internet.”
About Adblock Plus
Adblock Plus is a community-driven, open source project to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 250 million times. It has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC World rated Adblock Plus as a top innovation in its 100 Best Products of 2007 list, and in March 2010 the project collected the Linux New Media award for the Best Open Source Firefox Extension.