Kelly Scott Madison



As online advertising increases its complexity and advanced capabilitiesby the day, so do concerns about measurability and accountability…

While many concerns over ad viewability, cross-platform measurement and non-human traffic issues may have faded for brands working with agencies utilizing progressive approaches, there’s still another issue looming on the horizon. It’s known as ad blocking, and is a problem thatmost certainly isn’t going anywhere. As digitally-savvy young people come of age and begin customizing their own computers and mobile devices, the usage of ad blockers is expected to grow.

It’s important to state upfront that current ad blocking adoption numbers are not yet overwhelming, with most tallies pinning the number at around 5 percent of total Internet users worldwide. Still, as online viewership and content continues to trend upward, the advertising community is preparing for the possibility that ad-avoidance rates may match those experienced by traditional television in the years after the advent of the DVR.

The Internet has long been an ad-supported stronghold. With only a handful of publisher exceptions charging subscription fees for content, digital media has largely relied on ad dollars to remain afloat. In contrast, the television world (pressured bythe DVR and fragmented, multi-screen viewing) has been moving away from ad-supported revenue streams. Television now relies far more on retransmission fees, cable subscriptions, stand-alone OTT subscriptions and broadcast content rights (for which Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu pay dearly). This was a conscious decision by television producers and content owners and has created a magnificently profitable business model that will ensure long-termviability and help strengthen television’s premium identity.

So the obvious question becomes, if digital media relies almost exclusively on advertising then how does the general public currently feel about ad-blocking software, and what effect is this sentiment having on usage? A recent research study by KSM and ORC International found that online advertising and ad-blocking has... 

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