Entertainment content hardest hit by ad blockers: IAB Canada

Use of ad blockers remains stable in Canada, but content-rich categories are over-indexing with desktop users.

The ad blocking situation in Canada isn’t as dire as some media reports would lead the industry to believe, but neither is the situation black and white. 

That’s according to the IAB Canada’s Ab Blocking study, which was completed with comScore and presented at IAB Canada’s recent Blinded by Content conference in Toronto, which showed ad blocking has remained steady at about 17% on desktop in Canada from June 2015 to May 2016.

Though the overall number is stable, content-rich categories like entertainment, sports and news/information are over-indexing by a considerable amount. Entertainment content skews the highest, with 27% of page views having an incidence of ad blocking. Sports content is slightly lower, at 22%, and news/information sits below that at 19%. Family and youth content sits at 18%, while lifestyle content is at the average, with 17% of page views associated with an ad blocker.

Darrick Li, director at comScore Canada, said he doesn’t have a silver bullet answer as to why that content is over-indexing with ad blockers, but adds that a solution lies in the use of native advertising.

While ad blockers’ use of content-rich categories is highest in entertainment, the category has also seen a jump in overall digital consumption over the past two years. The number of Canadians consuming entertainment content online has jumped by 5% from July 2014 to May 2016, according to comScore numbers. News/information content saw the biggest growth for the period, with digital consumption of the category up 7% over the past 22 months. Categories that aren’t as rich with content tended to fall below the overall average for ad blocker use.

Li also encouraged a deeper dive into the platforms Canadians are consuming content on, to ensure messages are reaching them in the places they’re viewing it.

The growth in entertainment content consumption is largely coming from desktop users, as mobile consumption has dropped 5% from May 2015 to May 2016, the most sizeable drop measured across categories.

Consumption of news/information content has seen a big shift towards mobile, with a 110% jump on the platform in the past year.

Categories also experiencing growth on mobile included social media, which jumped 102% in the past year; government, which went up 48% and travel; which grew by 20%.



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