Ad blocker take-up slow in APAC but Asian web users are ‘banner-blind’ anyway says analyst

Forrester analyst Clement Teo

Forrester analyst Clement Teo

The rise of ad blockers has yet to be felt in Asia Pacific compared to the West, but Asian internet users mostly ignore the ads anyway because they are “banner-blind”, an analyst for Forrester has said.

In a brief interview with Mumbrella following the release of the research firm’s latest predictions for the year, Clement Teo, a senior regional analyst with Forrester, said that ad blocking on mobile devices is limited partly because the region is still heavily dominated by Android phones rather than Apple devices, on which installing ad blocking technology is now possible.

“Ad blockers are not much of a threat as yet – Asian users mostly ignore the ads, that is, they are banner-blind,” he told Mumbrella.

“With mobile, Asia-Pacific is still a heavy Android market, so the ad blocking on Apple mobile devices is muted. It has also changed slightly as Apple has amended the ability of ad blocking apps to completely block ads,” he said.

Of the countries in APAC that will be most impacted by ad blockers, Australia will see the briskest take-up, Teo predicted.

But the adoption of ad blockers – even in the US – is “far from universal consumer” so the threat to the advertising business is “minimised” for now, he said.

Even so, brands that focus on the right formats of advertising online will be able to cope better with the rise of ad blockers.

“If companies haven’t yet, the time has arrived to focus on formats like video and publisher-specific native formats — which in some cases can evade the ad-blocking technology,” said Teo.


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