Who are the people using adblockers?
The use of adblockers might not be something that keeps advertisers up at night, but it does represent a creeping problem for the ruling, internet advertising paradigm.
Advertising revenue is a foundational part of how the internet operates, with many sites giving away their content for free in the hopes that they will be rewarded with increased ad revenue.
The use of technology to simply avoid having to see any ads is a practice that is spreading. This means that marketers and advertisers need to figure out why people are turning to the technology, but also the kind of person that is likely to adopt an adblocker.
New data from Kantar Media’s DIMENSION study 2017 gives us a good idea of who the average UK adblocker is and how they behave online.
Firstly, the reasons why people turn to adblockers are already fairly well known, but the study sheds a little more light on exactly what it is about ads that annoy consumers so much. Three-quarters of surveyed adblocking adults reported seeing the same ads over and over again, while 50% continued to see ads for products they had already bought.
Interestingly, adblocking is not an all-or-nothing practice. Only 19% said that they always use adblocking software, with 37% claiming that they ‘sometimes’ make use of the technology
So, who are these adblockers?
Introducing the adblockers
The study reveals that adblockers are 53% more likely than average to be aged 15-34 and not be married/living as a couple, or living with relations. They are 27% more likely to be aged 15-34, living with a partner and childless.
Of those adblockers that are older, those aged 35-54, they are 90% more likely than the average UK adult to make an online purchase more than once a week.
Adblockers tend to be more tech-inclined than their peers. They are 65% more likely to participate in a virtual world, 44% more likely to use the internet for tech-related purposes and 22% more likely to claim to love buying new gadgets and appliances.
But perhaps the biggest factor that unites adblockers is a love of gaming. Adblockers are 44% more likely to be die-hard gamers, 38% more likely to keep up-to-date with the developments in the industry and 28% more likely to say video games are their main past time.
Attitude to advertising
The data seems to indicate that adblockers may be more receptive to advertising than they first appear. 55% of the surveyed adblockers claim to like or tolerate advertising, so it must be aspects of the ads rather than the ads themselves that are driving adblocker adoption.
31% of adblockers agree that tailored or more personalised ads are more interesting than other ads. 29% reported that they do not mind seeing ads targeted at them if it helps to pay for quality content on sites they like.
What does this mean?
“Our DIMENSION study found that most UK internet users aren’t against advertising per se, but that many – from digital natives to slightly older, less tech savvy users – feel over targeted by repetitive or irrelevant adverts,” said Richard Poustie, chief executive of Kantar Media UK & Ireland.
“Their natural tolerance towards advertising is being eroded by poor advertising strategies, and in response an increasing proportion are turning to ad blockers.
“The most effective means for the industry to address ad blocking is to improve how they target and engage with consumers. As a first step, brands must have accurate insights into the preferences and attitudes of a given audience and use this information to select the content and channel of delivery that’s most relevant to them.
“A robust, holistic measurement strategy will then allow brands to build an accurate picture of how, when and by whom their content is being consumed and adapt advertising accordingly. The aim should be to provide advertising that optimises and enhances – rather than detracts from – consumers' overall experience online, to discourage them from using an ad blocker to opt out of the advertising ecosystem.”
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