In its first forecast on ad blocking in the U.S., eMarketer found that more than 25% — 26.3% — of Internet users will block ads this year. Even more alarming, the digital research firm found that ad blocking in the U.S. is projected to increase by double digits in 2016. In fact, eMarketer forecast that in 2016, 69.8 million Americans will use an ad blocker, an increase of 34.4% over last year. And in 2017, that figure will grow another 24.0%, to 86.6 million people.
The researcher found that ad blocking is more common on desktops and laptops than on smartphones. And this year, 63.2 million people will use an ad blocker on their desktop or laptop PC, vs. 20.7 million who will use one on their smartphone. Furthermore, 90.5% of ad-blocking users will block ads on desktops and laptops, while just 29.7% will do so on smartphones — eMarketer found an overlap among the groups.
“Ad blocking is more common on desktops and laptops because screen sizes are large enough to accommodate multiple ads. This includes videos that might be out of view but still audible, which are especially annoying to users,” stated Paul Verna, senior analyst, eMarketer. “Also, ad blockers typically don’t work on apps, where users spend most of their mobile Internet time.”