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If Marketers Are Worried About Ad Blockers, They Should Throw More Cash at Mobile

New report offers key insights

Ad blockers are less prevalent on mobile devices.

Genesis Media, which surveyed more than 11,500 U.S. adults in late May and early June, found that while 24 percent of respondents installed ad blockers on either their home or work computers, just 3 percent did so on their smartphones or tablets. 

Two things immediately jump out from those statistics:

First, marketers already had plenty of reasons to focus on mobile, since that's where consumers are increasingly directing their attention. If brands believe that more of their ads won't be blocked on smartphones and tablets, their incentive to throw more money at mobile platforms only builds.

Secondly, nearly a quarter of the respondents have used ad-blocking systems like Adblock Plus, AdGuard and uBlock. If you are a glass-half-full type of person, you could also say that more than 75 percent of people haven't downloaded the no-promos software. 

The numbers are noteworthy because ad blockers have scared the bejesus out of digital publishers and other marketers in recent months.

Here are a few other highlights from the research, which ran across Genesis Media's partner sites including Bauer, AMI, The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times:

  • 29 percent of men said they've used ad-blocking software, compared with 19 percent of women.
  • 44 percent of males who've used ad-blocking software said they'd permit ads that are less intrusive or higher quality, compared with 26 percent of females.
  • 11 percent of men revealed that they haven't installed ad-blocking software because they enjoy watching ads, compared with 4 percent of females.

UPDATE: A few readers remarked on Twitter about how Apple's launch of IOS 9 could affect marketers' point of view toward mobile advertising. They make a fair point.

The mobile operating system will come preloaded on the new iPhone 6s, and it will let developers create Safari-based extensions that block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups and other Web content, including ads. Whether or not iPhone owners download such systems in droves will indeed be worth watching.

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