Mobile ad-blockers: saved by the app?
TMT Predictions 2016
Deloitte Global predicts a mere 0.3 percent of all mobile device owners (comprising smartphones and tablets) will use an ad-blocker by end-2016. This is likely to put less than $100 million (0.1 percent) of the $70 billion mobile advertising market at risk.
An ad-blocker is a software file that blocks access to sites that deliver advertising files. These include the visible, such as banner and pop-up ads, and those operating in the background, such as trackers, which log a user’s online activity. For users, the most immediate impact of ad-blockers is much faster page load times and fewer ads to obscure what they are reading. A less visible impact is that trackers get barred too, inhibiting the reuse and resale of the user’s browsing patterns.
Despite these user benefits, we expect very few mobile devices to have ad-blockers installed by end- 2016. Only a small minority of the estimated 3.4 billion smartphones and tablets in use by end-2016 are likely to have
The focus on app-based usage on a mobile device is likely to be a key reason why the relatively large-scale adoption of ad-blocking technology that has been experienced on PCs will not be replicated on mobile. When mobile ad-blockers first went on sale they stormed to the top of the app store charts in the first weekend.
Online publishers that rely on advertising for revenues should use the threat of ad-blocking to consider how best to enable easy payment for their content and not provide a vast array of consumer data as a condition of being able to contribute a dollar, or to insist on subscription.
The mobile advertising industry should also keep an eye on network-level ad-blocking. While in some markets this may be considered a contravention of net neutrality principles, regulation may always change to enable this.
The industry should also anticipate how prevalent consumer inertia can be. For example, hundreds of millions of mobile users have been able to access an ad-free, text-only mode for reading content for years, but few have chosen to do so. On the other hand, we expect many mobile users may start to simply ignore mobile
While we do not expect the impact of mobile ad-blocking in 2016 to be significant relative to the overall size of the market, its impact is likely to be felt