Posted on October 8, 2020

Ad filterers love gaming consoles. Here’s what that means.

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When the New York Times announces that 2020 is “shaping up to be a huge year for gaming,” you know it’s not just the world of tried-and-true gamers that’s about to be turned upside down. We’re all going to be affected.

This is because the release of two eagerly-awaited gaming consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the XBox Series X, has turned autumn 2020 into what the New York Times has described as “the return of the game console wars.” The fact that these “wars” are breaking out mid-pandemic, when people are staying indoors and turning to the enjoyment and creative immersion of gaming more than ever before, raises the stakes even higher.

But if there’s one demographic that’s going to be especially implicated by the console battles of late 2020, it’s ad filterers. (Ad filterers are users defined by GlobalWebIndex (GWI) as “users who have blocked ads in the past month but discover brands or products through ads seen online and have clicked on an online ad in the past month.”)

Ad filterers in the USA nurture especially steady gaming habits, with 11.4% reporting spending thirty minutes to one hour on their gaming consoles each and every day. And it doesn’t end there. 10.8% of USA-based ad blocking users spend 1-2 hours each and every day on their gaming consoles. And 3.3% percent comprise elite-tier gamers: people who spend 6 to 8 hours on their gaming consoles per day.

And, when compared to the segment of the population that doesn’t have ad blockers installed on their devices—known as “non- ad blocking users”—ad filterers appear even more as consummate gamers. A mere 8.4% of non- ad blocking users report spending thirty minutes to one hour on gaming consoles.

If late autumn 2020 is truly shaping up to be “the return of the game console wars,” we anticipate that ad filterers are going to be at the vanguard of every battle. Because the users that spend more time on gaming consoles are more likely to upgrade each and every time a new console appears…and, of course, they’ll also be the first in line for new games as well.

So it seems like the “game console wars” won’t really have any losers. Everyone will be victorious… maybe especially the ad filterers excited to use their new consoles.


In January of this year we published our groundbreaking study, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ad Blocking Users,” which drew back the curtain on the youthful, affluent, and well-educated users that have ad blockers installed on their devices.

But it turns out that there was even more to discover about this dynamic demographic.

We’ve once more consulted the trove of data that GlobalWebIndex (GWI) keeps about internet behavior and teased out more insights ad filterers, who GWI defines as “users who have blocked ads in the past month but discover brands or products through ads seen online and have clicked on an online ad in the past month.”

The result? AAX’s second study: Ad Filterers Online: Purchasing Habits and Media Consumption In The USA.
We’ll be publishing the study in full in November, but we wanted to give our followers a preview of the insights to come. That’s why, for the next five weeks, we’re highlighting our findings in a series of posts that consider some of our findings in a new light.