Adblock use growing at an exponential rate, says report

9 Sep 2014

Adblock has firmly established itself among many of the internet’s users and continues to grow rapidly with a 69pc growth between June 2013 and 2014, a new report suggests.

According to PageFair, there are now 144m worldwide users of the advert blocking browser extension, with Google Chrome proving to be the leading source of most of its installations, accounting for 63pc of total installs.

The report entitled Adblocking Goes Mainstream, run in partnership with Adobe, has been attempting to analyse the reported harm the free software is doing to websites that are largely reliant on the revenue generated by on-site advertising.

In Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Greece, Adblock has now been installed in just under a quarter of every computer, while countries including Japan and China are installing it on machines at a growth rate of 134pc in the space of 12 months.

‘The Napster of advertising’

The report shows that millennials are more willing to pay for a free service compared with those of older generations. Image via PageFair

Given its obvious dislike of advertising, Adblock has seemingly garnered its popularity primarily through word of mouth, accounting for 48pc of all referrals, followed by regular browsing at 28pc.

Perhaps the most interesting find from those surveyed as part of the report is that 80pc of internet users would not be willing to pay for a free service, with younger users more willing to pay than older ones, especially women between the ages of 45 and 60.

Speaking to The Guardian, PageFair’s Sean Blanchfield believes the rate of growth should seriously worry the advertising industry, describing it as “the Napster of the advertising industry”.

“It’s millennials. You can basically see a large cohort of adblockers growing up – as adblockers. And this isn’t good news for the advertising industry, or publishers.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic