How Many Impressions are Lost to Ad Blockers?

A big question in the industry is the impact that ad blockers have on impressions, clicks, and, most importantly, conversions. There is always discrepancy between the numbers reported in your DSP and the numbers reported in your ad server, but have you noticed that discrepancy getting bigger? Do we blame the DSP for over reporting, or is there something wrong in the ad server that is under reporting? Very few affiliates know the extent of their losses and may be underestimating the problem that ad blockers have on lost impressions.

A few years ago, a company called Clarity Ray, now owned by Yahoo, did a study to figure out the impact that ad blockers might be having on advertising. Keep in mind that this data is now about 4 years old and I can only imagine that the numbers have only gotten bigger. The challenge in measuring the impact that ad blockers have is that the ad blocker itself prevents or distorts any external measure. Clarity Ray used methods of live detection, directly from within publisher’s sites that relied on unrelated tests. This method provides for a very high degree of accuracy.

How Big Is Ad-Blocking?

The overall rate of ad-blocked impressions is 9.26%. That’s almost one tenth of the impressions you’re paying for are not being served. That number changes depending on the content of the site where those ads are running.

News and Tech domains had the highest rate of blocked impressions. Think about these numbers. Are they higher or lower than what you were expecting?

The research showed that browser used was also a big factor in ads being blocked.

Firefox, Safari, and Chrome showed the highest blocking rates. These are modular browsers with a thriving third-party extension community. Users are familiar with extensions available and are more likely to use an ad blocking extension (among others). Ad blockers are consistently the #1 most popular extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, so it should come as no surprise that ad blockers are also gaining popularity on mobile devices as well. This trend is expected to continue, and estimated to double in the next 20 months as awareness increases and a free, widely available solution is one click away on every platform.

What Can You Do?

The best tool you can have is to be aware of the impact that ad blockers have on your traffic and impressions. Keep up to date on which browser’s users will have a tendency to use ad blockers on as well as the content of the sites you’re buying traffic from. Use your ad server to target those sites, browsers, and device types that will give you the highest click through rate on your best performing ads. AVID has the ability to give you those targeting features to improve your campaigns. We also have an IP/Domain blacklist feature that allows you to block IP ranges that have a click through and low sales performance (usually an indicator of click fraud).

Sign up for your risk free 30-day trial of AVID today for only $99.