Revenue lost from ad blocking estimated at £14bn

The number of people using ad blocking software has grown by 82 per cent in the UK over the past year and worldwide usage is expected to hit ad revenues by more than £14 billion in 2015.

Revenue lost from ad blocking estimated at £14bn

A report from PageFair and Adobe found there were 12 million average monthly active users of ad blocking software in the second quarter of 2015 in the UK.

The use of ad blockers globally grew by 41 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of the year. The Cost of Ad Blocking study said there were 198 million monthly active users for the major browser extensions that block ads.

The research also said £14.1 billion ($21.8 billion) of ad revenue would be lost through use of the software and predicted that ad blocking will cost £26.8 billion ($41.4 billion) globally by 2016.

The study added that sites aimed at "young, technically savvy, or more male audiences" are the most affected by ad blockers.

Gaming sites took a 26.5 per cent share of the global ad blocking market in the second quarter of 2015, whereas government and legal sites only had a 2.5 per cent share.

Sean Blanchfield, the co-founder and chief executive at PageFair, said: "It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy.

"With ad blocking going mobile, there’s an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse."

In June a YouGov survey revealed that one in seven UK internet users are using ad blocking software with 34 per cent of those users aged between 18- to 34-years-old. The majority (80 per cent) are using the software on laptops, with fewer than one in five people using them on mobile devices.

But in June Apple revealed that ad blocking software could be available in the next major operating software upgrade of the iPhone.

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