2021 PageFair Adblock Report

2021 PageFair Adblock Report

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About the report

In this sequel to the 2020 BT/PageFair Adblock Report, we present the latest data gathered for global adblocking and results from our U.S. consumer survey about adblock usage and privacy preferences. The increasing focus on user consent has been the driver of significant change in the advertising industry, from privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA to Google’s looming deprecation of third-party cookies.

As we undertake this historical industry-wide pivot, one hypothesis we wanted to evaluate with the 2021 PageFair Adblock Report is whether user preferences about ads and privacy fall on a spectrum as opposed to being binary, as the industry and privacy advocates alike have presumed. In the Ads-Privacy Preference Matrix, we break out user preferences into nine distinct user buckets and estimate the percentage of US users that fall into each bucket based on their responses to our survey. We think this information will be invaluable both for publishers trying to better understand their audience and adtech companies building solutions for the market.

You’ll also find updated information on recurring themes from previous reports, such as the growth of desktop and mobile adblocking, region-wise penetration of adblocking, and a granular analysis of adblock countermeasures employed by the world’s leading publishers.

Key insights

  • Mobile adblocking grew 10% to reach 586M users
  • Desktop adblocking grew 8% to reach 257M users
  • Adblock users are twice as likely to accept light, non-intrusive ads rather than engage with adblock walls or pay for content
  • 63% of top US Comscore publishers reviewed in this report were using some type of adblock countermeasure, up from 56% last year
  • 67% of US Internet users think that the quality of advertising on the web has either declined or stayed the same in recent years
  • User adoption of Acceptable Ads is growing fast, reaching 218M users in 2020, with 435% growth on mobile over the last two years
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