How the Adblocking explosion is impacting our business

This week, Adobe released a new set of stats about ad blocking. These were the headline figures:

  • Globally, the use of ad blocking software grew by 41% year over year.
  • Usage in the United States grew 48% during the past year and Europe grew by 35%.


We’ve seen this increase first-hand. In addition, to OSTraining, I’ve run some travel sites for the last 8 years.

At the moment, those sites are monetized mostly through AdSense. These are not super-small sites. In July we had 120,000 visitors, up from 80,000 last year. This year, although traffic is up 48%, our Adsense revenue is down 20%. So our numbers are even more drastic than those reported by Adobe.

So, our numbers correspond fairly closely to those from Adobe. Why are we making 20% less money, despite increasing our traffic by 50%? Adblocking.

I do think it’s possible that we can still run the sites successfully, but we will need to contact businesses directly to sell ads. And instead of ads, we’ll need to sell businesses on the right to control the content on the page. For example, a local hotel can pay to be the listing on the “Hotels” page.

Even knowing our internal numbers and even as an adblocker myself, those stats from Adobe shocked me.

A 41% increase in adblocking in a single year? Even before iOS9 launches? Wow!

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