Publishers hit as Ireland tops European adblocking league
Ireland now has the highest level of adblocking in Europe, according to a major new global report from Irish firm PageFair.
Two-in-five Irish internet users now block ads on laptops and other computers, leading to a huge gulf in advertising income for traditional publishers and media companies trying to earn money from online ads.
Facebook and Google are largely unaffected by adblocking software as their advertising formats are harder to block. As a result, the two tech giants have expanded their share of the online advertising market to over two-thirds as traditional media publishers falter.
The Pagefair 2017 Global Adblock report says that Ireland and Greece share top spot in Europe for ad-blocking at 39pc.
Britain's adblocking rate is less than half that of Ireland's at 16pc. France's adblocking rate is 18pc, while Germany's is third-highest at 29pc.
The PageFair report does not measure mobile adblocking in Ireland. Mobile traffic is the fastest growing sector of web activity here, with almost half of all internet usage now done on mobile phones.
However it says that rates of mobile adblocking in Europe, as a whole, are lower than adblocking activities on traditional laptops and PCs. The PageFair report said that 74pc of adblock users leave websites when blocked from accessing content, while 77pc of adblock users say they are willing to view advertising, with a stated preference for static banner ads and skippable video ads.
The report says that 615 million devices are now blocking ads, a year-over-year jump of 30pc. Mobile adblock usage grew by 108 million, reaching a total of 380 million active devices. The report says that despite smaller numbers of people using desktop and laptop computers, adblock usage on these platforms grew by 34 million to reach 236m active devices.
"For adblock users, adblock is akin to a firewall or antivirus, and it is here to stay," said Sean Blanchfield, ceo of Pagefair, which published the report.
"Adblock users will continue to employ adblock software as protection against ads that intrude on security, invade privacy, interrupt UX, slow pages, and expend bandwidth.
"These results also suggest that adblock usage has broadened to older age groups and to both genders. These users are especially motivated by security and interruptive ad formats."