June 1, 2016 Last Updated 7:41 am

Report shows over a third of smartphone users in Asia-Pacific now using adblockers

Report shows that usage rate for mobile adblockers remains low in Europe and North America, but warns that growth of desktop adblocking indicates ‘an appetite for adblocking’

A new report from PageFair shows the dramatic growth of adblockers in the Asia-Pacific region, with 36 percent of smartphone users having and using an adblocker on their smartphone.

According to PageFair, the region is so dominate when it comes to adblocker usage the region accounts for 93 percent of all adblocker usage.

“Mobile adblocking is a serious threat to the future of media and journalism in emerging markets, where people are coming online for the first time via relatively expensive or slow mobile connections,” PageFair’s 2016 Mobile Adblocking Report states.


The two drivers of adblocking growth have been the decision by Apple to allow new apps for iOS and the use of mobile browser-based solutions such as Firefox for Android, which PageFair says accounts for 30 million users utilizing the adblocking function.

The report clearly states in-app adblocking remains at low levels in Europe and North America (despite hysterical articles you may have seen elsewhere). PageFair chalks this up to lower priced mobile data rates to be found in both regions. But PageFair sees that desktop adblocking has grown, and assumes this trend will move to mobile.

“The same adblocking technologies that are mainstream in emerging markets have relatively low adoption in western countries,” the report’s authors said. “Nonetheless, high rates of desktop adblocking in western countries indicates an appetite for adblocking, which may easily shift to mobile unless advertising practices change.”

Adblocking-Goes-Mobile-2PageFair, it should be pointed out, has a vested interest in this area they are a company providing services to publishers. But, having said, that, few would doubt that consumers are using adblockers in ever increasing numbers, and that it will present a serious problem for digital publishers. Of course, it is the behavior of digital publishers that continues to drive the demand for adblocking technology.

“Mobile is now a major channel for news consumption, and is growing rapidly,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. “Adblocking on mobile threatens this growth. We as an industry knowingly allowed bloated ads to run amok on news sites, packed with enough tracking software to annoy readers to ad nauseam, and causing a host of UX problems for users. We have to fix this.”

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