As the dust around ‘adblockalypse’ may have somewhat settled, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released some favourable updates to the ad blocking saga.

The latest wave of the IAB’s Ad Blocking Report, conducted by YouGov, reveals that 18% of UK adults are using ad blocking software – a rise of just 3% since June.

Of this figure, over a third (35%) of users fall between the age of 18-24 – the number drops to 13% for over 55s – while there’s also a gender difference, with nearly a quarter (23%) of males surveyed claiming to use the software, against just 13% of females.

Silver lining

However, the report finds that many users aren’t interested in blanket-blocking. While less than six in 10 (57%) claim their main motivation is to block all ads – a healthy one in five cite their chief reason was to block certain ads from particular websites that interfere with their browsing.

Less interference is cited by nearly half (48%) as a reason for being less likely to use ad blockers, according to the IAB, followed by having fewer ads on a page (36%), while ad relevance seems less important, at just 14%.

Commenting on the findings, the IAB’s CEO Guy Phillipson says that the findings show that it’s “absolutely vital” that the industry adopts a “less invasive, lighter ad experience” to address the main cause of ad blocking.

Value exchange

Another key tactic in the fight to reduce ad blocking is making consumers more aware of the consequences, adds Phillipson.

When told that ad blocking meant certain websites would have to find other ways of monetising previously free content, the survey found that one in six British adults online say that they’d prefer to see ads than pay for access.

“If more people realise content is only free because ads pay for it, then fewer people will be inclined to block ads. Only 4% are willing to face the other option – paying for content with no ads.”

Ad blocking is also yet to make real ground on mobile, accounting for just under a quarter (23%) of those using the software, compared to 71% on laptops and 47% on desktop PCs.