Publisher revenue is headed for a steep decline due to ad-blocking software in 2024, as revenue is estimated to fall by as much as $54 billion in the coming year. According to a recent report from ad-filtering software company eyeo (via MediaPost), the lost revenue is based on a global decline. And that it accounts for an overall 8% of the total amount spent on ads for the year. Eyeo also states however that this decline in revenue could have been worse.

Ad-blocking is nothing new. But it appears to be taking quite a large toll on publishers of late. So much so that Google’s own YouTube has put its own measures in place. The video streaming site recently resorted to putting up guards that attempt to protect against ad-blocking software. These “anti ad-blocking walls” are presented to users who try to skirt around YouTube’s ads by using ad-blocking software and is YouTube’s latest attempt to compensate for lost revenue.

Interestingly, YouTube has also admitted to initiating a slower load time for viewers using an ad-blocker. Which has caused some users to uninstall the software. Eyeo CRO Jan Wittek says that after YouTube’s slowdown implementation, some uninstalls did occur.

Lost publisher revenue from ad-blocking could have been much higher

While $54 billion certainly is a huge amount of lost revenue, that number could have been much higher if not for ad-filtering software.

There’s a difference between straight up ad-blockers and software that filters ads. The latter is designed to show only non-intrusive ads. Whereas some ad-blockers can block all ads completely. Eyeo estimates that if ad-filtering software which only shows non-intrusive ads didn’t exist that the lost revenue for publishers could have reached around $116 billion. More than double what it’s estimating for the current decline.

Not all users are opposed to seeing ads

Usage of ad-blockers is on the rise but that doesn’t necessarily equate to users being entirely opposed to ads. Eyeo’s report highlights that it surveyed a number of users and asked if they were against seeing ads on the websites they visit. About 58% of users asked said they weren’t against seeing ads. And that in fact they were “open or neutral” to seeing ads as long as they weren’t intrusive. But this also doesn’t mean that usage will slow down. As it’s estimated that mobile will continue to see growth in ad-block usage going forward.

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