Reaching Consumers in an Adblocking World | KPMG | UK
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Reaching consumers in an adblocking world

Reaching consumers in an adblocking world

Encouraging people to turn off their adblockers is a multi-billion pound headache for advertising innovators.



KPMG in the UK


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Most people understand that the free content they enjoy online comes thanks to paid advertising. Despite that, growing numbers are now using adblockers to decide what they see on the screen. That adds up to massive losses for digital publishers if they don’t come up with a solution, fast.

At least 419 million people already block adverts on the mobile web. And the situation’s only going to get worse. 

A KPMG report showed that 92% of people are now unwilling to pay to browse the web ad-free. Even more worryingly, 44% of UK consumers plan to use an adblocker within the next six months.

Publishers, advertisers, agencies and adtech innovators are engaged in a bruising battle over adblocking software and which content users choose to allow through their filters.

A recent KPMG round table on the future of digital advertising produced some stark warnings – as well as some timely advice for the industry. No surprise: it’s all about the brand.


Fast-rising adblockers

  • Crystal adblocker for iOS was downloaded 127,000 times on its day of release. AdBlock Plus reached 100,000,000 users in May.
  • The developers behind the software cite the success of the adblockers as people “taking back control” in selecting which content providers to whitelist.

The scale of potential losses

  • Research firm Ovum believes that publishers around the world lost $24 billion in 2015 due to adblocking.
  • This number could be up to $78 billion by 2020 if publishers ignore the issue. Even employing the harshest anti-adblocker measures won’t prevent a loss of at least $16 billion.

Powerful, resilient brands are the answer

  • Consumers are most likely to turn off their adblocker for content that comes from trusted media brands.
  • On your board agenda: For media businesses in particular, how do we accelerate exploration of alternative revenue generators? For all other businesses what other comms channels can we open to influence customers?
  • Anticipate tomorrow…: Digital advertising as we know it is obsolete, but do we have the capabilities in deep customer understanding to retain their engagement in other ways?
  • ...deliver today: How are we buying time in a decaying advertising model to allow for new approaches to emerge? Cost control, new funding, diversification and counter-measures are all critical stop-gaps.

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