It was a niche crowd at first, or so we thought. Ad blocking was confined to the desktop computers of young male gamers in Central Europe, the intelligence seemed to reveal. It made sense: gaming works best with minimal latency; ads add to latency; gamers needed to block them.
Many thought ad blocking would stay confined to this crowd; they were wrong.
Ad blocking is now pervasive, and both publishers and advertisers suffer. For the former it means that total impressions served are not reflected in the amount of ad inventory available for sale. For the latter, the cost takes the form of lost potential reach rather than a direct financial penalty.
According to GroupM’s latest Interaction report, although ad blocking is less common in Asia, it is only a matter of time: South Korea reports the recent arrival of blocking technology with Western-style consequences. Japan explains that the big blockers have not yet climbed over the language barrier. China points to lower awareness about blockers, and suggests they are less effective because most ads are served by publishers rather than third parties. Singapore reports little impact so far but remains alert. Taiwan also mentions low awareness. Indonesia remarks that its internet traffic is 70 per cent mobile, so structurally less vulnerable. Hong Kong’s advertisers take the positive view that ad blocking is about improving the user experience and are ready to switch to video and native if necessary.
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