Study: Pre-Roll Ads Dramatically Increasing Ad-Block Installs

Study Surveys 9,000 People Who Either Have or Are Aware of Ad-Blocking Tech

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Video ad tech company Teads released a study Tuesday that aims to provide insight as to what motivates people to use ad blockers.

Research Now conducted the study and surveyed 9,000 people. Active users of ad blockers, including mobile, and those who are aware of ad blockers but have not yet installed them, were surveyed for the study.

The research said pre-roll ads were among the most intrusive, with 41% of respondents saying they installed the ad-blocking software due to the ad format. Additionally, Hispanics are 78% more likely to use a mobile ad blocker while men are 22% more likely overall to use the software on mobile devices, the study said.

Teads makes video technology that autoplays when you're reading a story, for example. Its clients include Mashable and Forbes, among others. It claims its tech is not intrusive because its ads can be closed by a user as soon as they appear. At the same time, it sees pre-roll ads as intrusive because consumers cannot skip them and have to endure the length of the ad before they can consume the content they want.

An overwhelming majority (88%) said pop-up ads were intrusive or annoying. Forty-six percent said they disliked display ads while 41% of respondents said they did not like pre-roll video ads, the study said. "None of the top tier 1 publishers are using popup ads. I think we can all agree they're annoying," said Jim Daily, president at Teads. "And pre-roll is essentially a content-unlocking mechanism. It's an agreement between the user and publisher that they'll watch a 15- or 30-second commercial to get the access they want."

Nearly three out of four people said intrusive ads were a motivator for installing ad blockers, more than any other motivator such as speed or data usage. About 64% of those who have ad blockers installed on either mobile or desktop said site performance was a motivator for installing the extension while 62% cited excessive ads as a reason for blocking ads. Only 18% said they installed the software because they were curious, the study said.

Additionally, the research indicated that articles are the most consumed content on the web and across all devices. About 71% of those who use ad blockers on mobile said they are less likely to return to a site with intrusive ads. That's about the same for desktop (75%). Meanwhile, 62% of people who do not have ad-blocking software but are aware of it said they are less likely to return to a site with annoying ads.

How are people learning about ad blockers?

About 44% of mobile ad-blocking users said they found out about the software from their friends. Twenty-six percent said they learned about it through word of mouth, while 18% said they learned about it through social media. Those numbers are similar to desktop, with 45% saying they learned about it from friends, 34% through word of mouth and 11% through social media.

Of those who have ad blocking installed, 67% said they use Chrome as their browser while 37% said they use Firefox and 32% said Safari, according to the study. About 42% of the study's sample size included people with a household income above $75,000. Forty-three percent were male, 55% were college educated and 28% were ages 18 to 34.

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