Pre-Roll Ads Dramatically Increasing Ad-Block Installs

busyA recent study by the video ad tech company Teads surveyed 9,000 people who either have or are aware of ad-blocking technology. This study aims to provide insight as to what motivates people to use ad blockers.

Results of the Study

The study was conducted by Research Now in which active users of ad blockers, including mobile, and those who are aware of ad blockers but have not yet installed them were surveyed. The research showed pre-roll ads were among the most intrusive, with 41 percent of respondents stating they installed the ad-blocking software due to the ad format. Additionally, Hispanics are 78 percent more likely to use a mobile ad block while men are 22 percent more likely overall to use the software on mobile devices, according to the study.

For example, Teads makes video technology that autoplays when you’re reading a story. Its clients include Mashable and Forbes, among many others. Teads claims its tech is not intrusive because its ads can be closed by a user as soon as they appear. Nevertheless, it sees pre-roll ads as intrusive because consumers cannot skip them and have to endure the length of the ad before they can consume the content they want.

An overwhelming 88 percent said pop-up ads were intrusive or annoying. Additionally, 44 percent said they disliked display ads while 41 percent of respondents said they did not like pre-roll video ads, according to the study. “None of the top tier 1 publishers are using popup ads. I think we can all agree they’re annoying,” said Jim Daily, president at Teads. “And pre-roll is ultimately a content-unlocking mechanism. It’s an agreement between the user and publisher that they’ll watch a 15- or 30-second commercial to get the access they want.”

Almost three out of four people said intrusive ads were a motivator for installing ad blockers, more than any other motivator such as speed or data usage. Roughly 64 percent of those who have ad blockers installed on either mobile or desktop said site performance was a motivator for installing the extension while 62 percent stated excessive ads as a reason for blocking ads. Only 18 percent cited they installed the software because they were curious, according to the study.

The research also indicated that articles are the most consumed content on the web and across all devices. Roughly 71 percent of those who use ad blockers on mobile stated they were less likely to return to a site with intrusive ads. That is about the same for desktop (75 percent). Meanwhile, 62 percent of people who do not have ad-blocking software but are aware of it said they are less likely to return to a site with annoying ads.

How are People Learning about Ad Blockers?

Around 44 percent of mobile ad-blocking users said they discovered the software through their friends. Another 26 percent stated they learned about it through word of mouth, while 18 percent said they learned about it through social media. Desktop numbers are similar, with 45 percent saying they learned about it from friends, 34 percent through word of mouth and 11 percent through social media.

Sixty-seven percent of those who have ad blocking installed stated they use Chrome as their browser, while 37 percent said they use Firefox and 32% said Safari, according to the study. About 42 percent of the study’s sample size included people with a household income above $75,000. Of these, 43 percent were male, 55 percent were college educated and 28 percent were ages 18 to 34.

Key Findings in the Global Markets

The largest number of respondents who list ads that provide a choice to view as motivation not to block ads were found in Mexico and Spain, with 89 percent of respondents agreeing this is the biggest motivator.

Argentinians were most discouraged by pre-roll ads, with 57 percent of respondents ranking pre-roll as highly intrusive. Interestingly though, respondents from Argentina preferred in-article native video ads, with only 13 percent finding these units highly intrusive.

In Germany, the home of Adblock Plus, respondents’ motivation to block ads due to intrusive formats is extremely high, at 72 percent. But 83 percent of respondents stated they would avoid using ad blockers due to formats that offer choice.


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