Posted on February 17, 2021

Why block ads? Size, speed, and intrusiveness.

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In our last post, we looked at the top three reasons why ad filterers—the 95% of ad blocking users who opt to be served less-intrusive ads—give for ad blocking.

But, never satisfied with just scratching the surface of an issue, we wanted to look a little deeper, examining even more reasons why users choose to install ad blockers on their devices.

And what we found was that users are motivated by browsing and user experience. First, the numbers. When asked why they use an ad blocker…

… 46.2% answered “Ads are too intrusive.”

… 43.3% said “To speed up loading times.”

… and 37% agreed that “Ads take up too much screen space.

First of all, these answers represent a large percentage of ad filterers, ranging from more than ⅓ to slightly less than ½ of users. That’s too significant a segment of the population to ignore.

Secondly, when we take a look at the reasons given, a pattern begins to emerge. Ad filterers can see ads as compromising browsing and user experience.

That’s the common ground shared by the statements “Ads are too intrusive” and “Ads take up too much space,” the fourth and fifth most common motivation for ad blocking. And the sixth— “To speed up loading times”—speaks to a perception of ads further diminishing the ability to browse.

But this pressing issue of browsing and user experience runs deeper. After all, two of the top three reasons for ad blocking, which were explored in depth in our last post, also have to do with browsing and user experience. When the segment of the population that answered “Too many ads are annoying or irrelevant” and “There are too many ads on the internet”—59% 52.6% of respondents, respectively—are considered, the picture of ad blocking motivations becomes even more crystal clear.

Ads are seen as negatively affecting browsing and user experience. That makes it a matter of urgency to start addressing the annoyance that users have with the way they’re currently being served ads.

That’s one of the reasons that we compiled Why Block Ads? Behind User Reasons and Motivations, a study that examines, well, the reasons and motivations behind ad blocking habits. We’re especially interested in why ad filterers—users that curate their own ad experiences by opting to be served some but not all advertisements—choose ad blocking.

And that’s not all. We also look at how these motivations and reasons have shifted over time, how they differ between sub-demographics, and why all this matters.

Why Block Ads? Behind User Reasons and Motivations will be published in April, but we’ll be teasing its release with posts just like this one. And if you’re interested, check out some of our previous ground-breaking studies.

Last November we released Ad Filterers Online: Purchasing Habits and Media Consumption In The USA, which shed light on the subject of how ad filterers spend time online…and how they spend their hard-earned dollars.

And back in January of 2020 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.