Six Surprising Findings About Ad Block Users

man using adblock

Mark Bauman
Owner of ReviveAds, an ad block prevention company.

Originally printed on 

As a company that served ads to over 20 million web users last year, we’ve learned quite a bit along the way. We use technology that circumvents ad blockers, which enables us to engage with ad block users and has allowed us to gather some fascinating, actionable data on ad block use.

In late 2016 we asked thousands of ad block users to answer a series of quick survey questions. Here are some of the surprising things we discovered.

Ad Blocking Is Mostly A “Male” Thing

In our survey, roughly 81% of ad block users identified themselves as male; 18% identified as female.

This gender gap is so huge that it’s worth thinking about from an advertising and marketing perspective. A large part of this disparity may come from the fact that female-targeted advertising, which is heavily dominated by sophisticated, image-conscious brands and marketers, may be more appealing (and less annoying) to its readership than male-targeted advertising. Or it may be due to any number of alternate explanations which are beyond the scope of this article, so I’ll leave it to social scientists to explain the gender gap here.

Ad Blocking Is Mostly A “Younger” Thing

We asked ad block users their age. A whopping 56% of them were between the ages of 18 and 25 and roughly 17% of them were between the ages of 26 and 35. The remainder were older, with the use by age category continuing to decrease.

The clear takeaway is that obstructions to ad-viewability caused by ad blockers run significantly higher in younger demographics. From a marketing perspective, this is important to consider. For brands and for online marketers who target younger demographics, ad blocking cannot be ignored as a factor negatively affecting viewability.

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