Captive Audience: The Larger Costs of Ad-Blocking

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Ad-blocking will cost publishers $54 billion in lost advertising revenue next year, according to new data released by eyeo.

And while that number is significantly less than the $116 billion in potential losses “if no mitigation solutions existed” (such as ad-filtering tools that allow users to only see nonintrusive ads), it still represents 8% of the total projected global digital ad spend.

“This report shows that users are annoyed with clutter and intrusive online ads and are reclaiming control of their online experience,” says eyeo CRO Jan Wittek

The report found that there were 912 million active ad-blocking users by Q2 2023, up 11% from 2021, with Acceptable Ads opt-in users up 42% in that same time period to more than 300 million worldwide. Acceptable ads, as the Acceptable Ads Committee defines them, are those that meet “nonintrusive, exceptionally-researched ad standards that respect user experience while delivering real value to content publishers and online advertisers.”

(Source: eyeo)

“The growth of Acceptable Ads users is a testament to the fact that users are open to nonintrusive ads, thereby supporting publishers and creators for their efforts,” says Wittek. “However, they also want to be in control of their data.”

Data control, the report found, meant location data or browsing history not being shared (77%), consent for data collection or sharing (66%), and control over which data was collected (63%).

“Itʼs a mistake to assume that they do not respect the value exchange with publishers if their legitimate need for a better experience is considered,” says Wittek. “It’s time the entire industry recognizes that user-centricity doesn’t just benefit users, but publishers and advertisers as well.”


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