Rise in mobile ad-blocking ‘make IAB claims nonsense’

mobileAdblock Plus has rubbished IAB UK claims that take-up of the software has plateaued, insisting that it has failed to take into consideration the rising number of mobile ad-block users sweeping the industry, particularly in the APAC region, making mobile the next battleground.
The company, which two weeks ago appeared to call a truce with the IAB by calling on agencies, search engines and cybersecurity specialists to join forces to combat the rise in malvertising, says it has not seen any “stagnation” in ad-block use.
Head of operations and communications Ben Williams said: “If you look at ad-blocking on a per-country basis, we’ve long predicted that numbers would level around the 20-30% mark. The numbers given by the IAB are largely based on desktop users, but critically fail to realise the impact of increasing mobile users, particularly in the APAC region, where mobile adblockers dwarf desktop users.”
According to 2017 figures released by the IAB, ad-blocking figures in the UK have remained at 22%, a similar figure as the previous year. However, the latest PageFair report has shown that 615 million devices were blocking ads with 62% of these coming from mobile – overtaking desktop devices. In particular, APAC region was found to be largely responsible for this growth, seeing a 40% growth in mobile ad-blocking in 2016.
Williams added: “Last year we saw a huge growth in mobile ad-blockers, and this year we’re seeing the exact same. Yet this trend in mobile ad-blocking won’t be exclusive to the APAC region alone. As mobile software capitalises in other regions and users become wary of this, it won’t come as much of a surprise if other regions such as Europe and North America also experience similar growth.
He claims that the high proportion of APAC ad-blockers suggests that the mobile platform is still raw and requires time to innovate. For both publishers and advertisers alike it represents two considerations, one being to stop the number of intrusive ads, and the second to better understand and adjust to the hardware restraints that weren’t previously experienced on desktops.
“Image-heavy and data-hungry ads often hamper mobile data plans and can drain battery performance, causing more users to seek ad-blockers as not only a solution, but a critical empowerment tool to regain control over their mobile user experiences,” Williams concluded.

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