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Why millennials are blocking your digital advertisements?

Digital advertisers and publishers are seeing ad blocking as an increasing problem. One out 2 individuals who use internet are aged between 18 to 34, and a majority of them are now blocking ads. So much so that recent data from PageFair’s “2015 Ad Blocking Report” reveals that more than 180 million people have used an ad blocker. This popular practice amongst the youth has become one of the most troubling topics for businesses and advertisers in recent months.
A study conducted by GlobalWebIndex informs us that:

  • The share of millennial l ad-block users is the highest in Europe. Reports show that ad blocking by millennials is most prevalent in Europe, closely followed by the US.
  • While millennials are concerned about receiving ads, it seems that they are comparatively less concerned by their personal data being used by companies. In fact up to 56% of internet users in this age group were not concerned about how their personal data was being used by companies. On the other hand, 64% internet users aged between 55 and 64, are concerned about personal data usage.

This kind of data is troublesome to those web publishers who have large millennial audiences. Says

Laura Desmond, CEO of the media agency the Starcom MediaVest Group, “Everything you know about advertising – chuck it. It’s a completely different world and game with millennials.”

Here are some reasons why millennials block ads:

  • For better browsing experience: Digital ads can be disruptive. It’s common to run across a display ad which protrudes out of its allotted dimensions, or an ad that can’t be closed. These problems are especially common on mobiles, where people often mis-click ads.
  • To improve security: Apart from pop-up ads being disruptive and intruding work, there is a strong perception that these ads carry malware, known as ‘malvertising’.
  • Some millennial don’t like ads in general:  The youth feel that the ads are not at all related to their preferences.
  • Privacy issues: Some millennials don’t like their browser history being captured and then used by advertisers to send them ads with a similar theme. Said one blogger, “It’s like the tyranny of the thought police that George Orwell wrote in his book 1984. It feels as if Big Brother is indeed watching you!” Thus, some of the youth are possibly blocking ads to create disruption.

Forbes interviewed 1,300 millennials and they found out that only 1% of those surveyed said that a convincing ad would make them trust a brand more.
This generation is quick to skip ads. Here are the few methods that millennials use to block ads:

  • Ad blocking Software
  • Private/Icognito Browsing
  • Subscription Services


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