Ad blocking costing UK publishers £3 billion in revenue a year

The UK has one of the highest rates of ad blocking in the world, with around 39% of users making use of the technology.

According to a new report by OnAudience.com, this will cost UK publishers £2.9 billion in lost revenue in 2017.  This is a 15% increase on the £2.5 billion loss in 2016.

OnAudience.com estimates puts the UK’s annual contribution to the $100 billion global display market at an estimated $6 billion (£4.5 billion), so the loss is pretty significant. The loss in publisher revenue due to ad blocking is not a British-only phenomenon, with the report estimating that global lost revenue has jumped from $28 billion in 2016 to $42 billion in 2017.  

“There has been much discussion calling for advertising to provide a better user experience, but this report clearly shows that not enough is being done as ad blocking rates continue to rise – causing a significant loss for publishers and the advertising industry as a whole,” commented Maciej Sawa, chief commercial officer at OnAudience.com.

Effects on e-commerce

The report also looked at the impact that ad blocking is having on the e-commerce industry. According to the research, 32% of consumers visiting e-commerce sites in Europe are using ad blockers, with 34% of page views being generated by ad blocking shoppers.

This means that 38% of online shoppers who complete a transaction do not see a single ad before their purchase, representing a sizeable lost opportunity for advertisers. OnAudience.com estimates the global e-commerce market to be over $2,000 billion, with over $600 billion coming from ad blocking users.

“Ultimately user experience is key, so it is extremely important for the entire digital marketing industry to keep the consumer in mind and ensure that their journey is relevant, contextual, and meaningful ­– if we are to ever convince them not to install ad blockers,” said Sawa.

The UK ad blocking figures reflects broadly the majority of the European market, where around 32% of users make use of the technology. This compares to the USA where 26% of users block ads.

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