Enthusiastic purchasers of digital content: ad filterers

Whether it comes to news services, online magazines, study programs, or learning materials… ad filterers want to purchase it.

Ad filterers flock to digital content, outspending their non- ad blocking user counterparts at a rate of three to one. And, while this might not be surprising given ad filterers’ sky-high levels of engagement and the amount of time this dynamic demographic spends online, it’s worth spending a bit of time considering the implications of this staggering statistic.

The desire to premium content, especially the kind that comes at an extra cost, fits in with some things we know about the ad filtering demographic. This is a group composed of wealthier-than-average, highly educated, engaged individuals.

We know that ad filterers use their wealth to purchase products after seeing ads at a greater rate than non- ad blocking users, so it’s not surprising that some of that disposable income would also go towards digital paid content. It also stands to reason that ad filterers would purchase digital content: news subscriptions, study materials, and magazine subscriptions are generally purchased at a higher rate by people with higher levels of education. And “engagement” isn’t a personality quirk that’s relegated to brand loyalty or social media engagement—studies show that people who are engaged in one aspect of their lives tend to show similar levels of engagement in other arenas. That means that ad filterers’ choice to dive deep into digital media could very well be a result of the same kind of curiosity and engagement that propels them towards following their favorite brands’ social media.

And, of course, it’s a matter of priority. We touched on the topic of prioritization in our last study, which answered the question “What do ad blocking users prioritize?

Here’s what we found:

Ad blocking users, as it turns out, prioritize being well-informed. 79.2% agreed with the statement “It is important to be well-informed about things.” […] A well-informed person, then, is someone who is not only omnivorous when it comes to knowledge…but also always hungry for the next brain snack.

Ad filterers, a subset of ad blocking users, appear to have similar priorities. They certainly exhibit the same appetite for knowledge of all kinds, and the desire to access information that will enhance their baseline of knowledge is strong enough that they’re willing and ready to purchase access to premium, paid, digital content.


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.