Both Adobe and PageFair reported last year that the global number of ad-blocking users had grown incredibly from 21 million in 2009 to under 200 million in mid-2015. But now, there is a new mobile ad-blocking report that was released by PageFair today (May 31) that says that the 2oo million ad-blocking users from 2015 has more than doubled to 4419 million million mobile ad blockers around the glob.
Approximately 22 percent of worldwide smartphone users are blocking ads. The most popular method of ad blocking is now mobile browser-based. According to PageFair, they identified “45 different ad-blocking browsers available for download on iOS and Android.” The most used ad-blocking browser is the Alibaba owned UC browser.
Interestingly, the UC browser is the second most popular mobile browser in the world according to StatCounter. The only browser that is ahead of the UC browser is Chrome. The third most used browser is Safari. The UC browser’s largest markets includes China, India, Russia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
There are a number of surveys based in North America that identify complaints about ad relevance or intrusiveness, and even slow load times. These are some of the reasons why consumers are opting into using ad-blockers. Mobile data costs, and the savings associated with ad blocking, for developing countries, appear to the primary consideration.
It seems that to help combat ad-blocker, there have been a number of initiatives, including Google’s AMP, to improve ad quality and address mobile user complaints. Even Facebook has been getting in on the act by trying to improve the quality of ads that the company runs on its own properties and its Audience Network. Even though these inititaves mean well, their efforts may be irrelevant in developing markets.
Finally, the report predicted that the mobile browser-based blocking is so mainstream in some countries that the “next billion users may be invisible to digital marketers.” Basically, they’ll be ad-blocking from the get-go.