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Ad Blocking’s Biggest Myths Exposed

November 30, 2015 | Lucy Tozer

Ad Blocking’s Biggest Myths Exposed

The rising popularity of ad blockers has been a worry of those in the digital publishing industry and whilst the controversy has unearthed some real concerns, it has also created several misconceptions. Here, we aim to address some of the myths surrounding ad blockers.

Myth 1: Ad blocking does not affect native ads
Many publishers have turned to native advertising in a bid to escape ad blocking and although native adverts aren’t the primary target for blocking, they’re not completely immune to it. Ad blockers are programmed to block both traditional ad servers and native ad platforms. Ad blockers strip the page of these ads and replace them with regular content. However, native ads are being positioned as the ‘favoured ad type’ thanks to their inconspicuous nature. The theory is, if publishers use native advertising in the right way, then fewer readers will use ad-blocking software in the future.

Myth 2: Ad blockers only affect gaming and tech sites
Thanks to their audiences, gaming and tech sites have traditionally been hit the hardest by ad blockers. The gaming site, Destructoid, said that 50% of its readers blocked adverts. Although the typical gaming site now sees ad blocking rates as high as 55%, other sites such as entertainment and fashion are now seeing increases. An ad blocker provider, Secret Media, reported a rate of 29% for entertainment and 26% for fashion.

Myth 3: Ad blocker users hate all ads
Despite the rise in ad blockers, one of the most popular iOS ad blockers, Crystal, found that half its users would be willing to view ads that weren’t too distracting, resource-heavy or data-intensive. AdBlock Plus found similar results amongst its own users, with 70% saying that they were fine with ads that meet its “Acceptable Ads” criteria.

Myth 4: Ad blockers only block intrusive ads
No matter how intrusive an advert is, ad blockers treat each one the same. AdBlock Plus’ “Acceptable Ads” program attempts to rectify this by allowing white-listed ads through. Most ad blockers however, do not do this. Ad blockers work from blacklists containing URLS and other page elements associated with advertising. This means that even the most unobtrusive ads get blocked.

For further information on ad blockers and how to secure your digital advertising strategies for 2016, join our webinar on Thursday 10th December! Sign up here: Beat the Blockers – Your 2016 Ad Survival Guide