Recent revelations about the increased use of ad blocking software have sparked concerns among the digital publishing industry.
Some have even predicted that the use of ad blockers could be the end of the internet as we know it. However, based on the comments on recent SocialTimes coverage, readers are frustrated with how aggressive and intrusive ads impact their content experience.
According to a Broadband Genie survey of 2,501 Internet users, 64 percent currently have some form of ad blocking software and 82 percent don’t care about the cost of ad blockers to advertisers. What’s more, nearly 60 percent of survey respondents said they saw ads as a threat to their online security.
This news is certainly troubling considering that digital publishing, much like the print industry it disrupted, is supported largely by adverting. The problem is that the ever increasing deluge of advertising content is having a negative impact on the user experience.
According to The Guardian:
And as the web has evolved, and more of our lives conducted online, internet advertising has steadily increased. It’s now at the stage where it’s really annoying. Webpages that used to load relatively quickly suddenly take ages to appear. Videos pop up unannounced and – worse still – start to play without your consent. And there’s a lot of hidden downloading going on before the page finally appears. Scrolling down becomes unaccountably jerky. And so on.
Be that as it may, 67 percent of Broadband Genie survey respondents said that even if sites offered an alternative for of financing, they wouldn’t take advantage. This attitude echoes the prevailing theme of Internet users wanting high quality services and content, and not necessarily wanting to pay for it themselves.
The survey did hold a glimmer of hope, however, with nearly 900 of the survey respondents saying they don’t use ad blockers. 43 percent said they didn’t see any need, 38 percent didn’t know what it was and another four percentage found the use of ad blockers unethical.
With the launch of AdBlock Plus on iOS and Android systems, the concern is only going to escalate among web-based, ad-supported businesses. In the end, something has to give. Internet users can’t have it both ways: both free content and an ad-free experience.
According to Broadband Genie head of strategy Ron Hilborn, the responsibility is on advertisers to do better a delivering high quality, relevant ads.
Rebuilding trust and taking the frustration of seeing irrelevant ads away should be a top priority if these companies are serious about trying to curb the growth of ad blockers. At the end of the day, ad blockers have only become popular because users are dissatisfied with what’s currently being displayed.
Readers: Do you use an adblocker now?
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