Use of ad-blocking technology in Nordic region tops 30%

Sweden has the highest percentage of consumers using ad-blocking technology, according to a new report that says ad blocking generally is widespread in the Nordics.

In Sweden, ad blocking on computers among users aged 15-74 approaches 40%, said the report from Mediavision, while in Finland, Denmark and Norway it’s closer to 30%.

Those same users aren’t as active in employing ad-blocking technology on mobile devices – yet. In Sweden and Norway, slightly more than 10% of users block ads on mobile devices, while in Finland and Denmark the number if just below 10%.

But, more smartphone markers are offering ad-blocking as an option on their phones, a la Apple, and mobile network operators are also weighing whether to block ads in the name of preserving data usage for their customers.

Globally, an estimated 200 million users use ad blockers, with media companies globally in line to lose as much as $27 billion in revenue by 2020, according to some estimates.

With nearly 90% of new spending on digital advertising forecast to be on mobile devices by 2018, according to ZenithOptimedia, the potential losses to publishers are staggering.

For publishers who rely on an ad-supported model, the impact can be huge. Traditionally, media companies have tried withholding content from users who employ ad-cocking software, or even barring them from accessing sites, both have significant downside in terms of lost traffic.

Increasingly, anti-ad blockers are being employed to help publishers maintain and grow revenues.

Mediavision, meanwhile, said consumers can be selective in their use of ad blocking, too, turning off the software if they want to access specific content.

“The ad blocking trend is a clear statement from the consumer, current business model needs to be reviewed,” said Torbjörn Axelsson, analyst at Mediavision. “Regardless of how publishers choose to tackle ad blocking, they need to find new strategies to compensate for reduced advertising revenues.”

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn