The introduction of ad-blocking applications for smartphones is said to pose a serious threat to online advertisers, as one in five users is reported to be using these apps, which results in loss of revenue for advertising firms.
Web users surfing from their PCs have known about ad-blocking extensions for a very long time, and have been using them for removing or reducing annoying advertisements in web pages. However, such extensions weren't available for smartphones until recently. With the introduction of iOS 9, many developers launched their ad-blocking solutions on the App Store and similar apps were also launched for Android on the Play Store.
According to a research conducted by analytics company Priori Data and Pagefair, 419 million out of the estimated 1.9 billion smartphone users are now using ad-blocking apps. The company also revealed that the number of available applications that serve the purpose has also doubled over the last year.
The report has expressed concern about the loss of revenue due to these apps which are becoming increasingly popular among users. A key point revealed by the company is the high usage of these apps in emerging markets such as China, India and other countries from the Asia-Pacific region, where mobile internet is dominant and 281 million users are found to be using ad-blockers.
Mobile ads tend to slow down load times, and the surfing experience is hampered on the slow networks in these regions. As a result of this, users are more inclined to use ad-blockers. However, the analysts expect the usage to increase in Western countries as well, due to the increasing cost of data.
Currently, there doesn't seem to be any solution for online advertisers to dissuade users from using these apps, and it would become more difficult to convince users to remove these apps once they become commonplace in the future.