Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, April 13, 2018
Keep stopping the ads!
So say a large and growing group of consumers.
There are multiple ways consumers are expressing this, from actively using ad blockers, to moving beyond “freemium” sites and content to those offering an ad-free experience with a paid subscription, or simply reducing their media consumption.
Ad blockers are being used by a substantial share of online adults in the US. Based on our 2017 wave of TUP/Technology User Profile throughout the US, 40% of Connected Adults are actively using an ad blocking app on at least one of their connected devices.
Ad blockers are being used across a range of user’s connected devices. The highest rate of ad blocking is on PCs, followed by smartphones, and then tablets.
The ad blocking rate is even higher among the most-active news readers. This rejection doesn’t bode well for ad-supported business models, such as that of many media outlets.
Digital consumers continue to value an ad-free experience, whether for news, music, or video content. Consumers enjoy the convenience and continue to respond to offers marketed as free. Although these hopes and preferences may persist, what matters more than wishes are what consumers do. Action matters more than opinion, just as the behavior carries more weight than intention or preference. Seeing that so many consumers, especially such highly-engaged ones, continue to take the extra step to actively block ads continues to send the messages to advertisers as well as news outlets.
Meanwhile, many media outlets have gotten the message and moved their ad-free experiences behind paywalls. Others encourage freemium customers to at least whitelist their publications. To the extent consumers lower their defenses, this may reduce the value consumers place on being ad-free. In turn, this may encourage more consumers to return to being active readers.
These results are based on results of the MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile 2017 survey, its 35th consecutive wave, as well as previous waves.
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