In the ever-evolving world of online publishing, a growing thorn in publishers’ sides is ad-blocking software. And it continues to grow and grow.
In 2015, ad blockers have cost publishers $22 billion, according to an annual report from PageFair, a startup that wants to help websites “survive the rise of adblock,” and Adobe. The report also found that there are a staggering 198 million people using ad blockers.
In the last calendar year, use of ad-blocking software grew by 42%, according the researchers’ findings, which characterize blockers as an “existential threat” to publishers. In the U.S. specifically, the use of ad blockers grew by 48% year-over-year.
The report also noted that ad-blocking isn’t yet a factor on mobile, though iOS 9 could be a “game changer” in this regard. Right now, ad-blocking on mobile accounted for just 1.6% of the software’s use. This bit of information could be particularly troubling to publishers, as users are increasingly relying on mobile as a means of web browsing.
“We find that not only has ad blocking continued its fast growth on desktop, but it has also leaped onto mobile in Asia, and will soon go mobile in the West with the upcoming launch of content blocking on iOS,” reads the report.