AdBlock Chrome hits 10 Million+ Users

Ad blocking is more than a fad

In early October 2012, the number of AdBlock Chrome users reached 10 million. Just one month ago, 9 million people were using AdBlock. So after some difficult number crunching, we can conclude that 1 million people are new to AdBlock. Jokes aside, that is a huge increase for one month’s time.

We also have to consider that Chrome Adblock Plus (beta) users are 5.2 million. So, we have at least 15.2 million ad blocking users on Chrome! Plus, 15 million more ad blocking on Firefox!

So, what does this mean?

Internet ad spend is $88.4 billion in 2012 (Source: ZenithOptimedia).

And due to an increasing number of AdBlock users, about 6% of all ads are blocked (Source: dSero Analytics).

This equals a whopping loss of $5.3 billion this year. Small, medium and large publishers are taking the hit.


Jacob Attias

Download dSero’s Anti-AdBlock WordPress plugin to learn ad blocking statistics for your site and recover revenue!


  • droski

    Keep up the good work!

    • Jacob

      Thanks, droski!

  • Rocket

    This is bad

    • Jacob

      Well said, Rocket.

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  • toboev

    every so often I have a twinge of guilt, I should feed the sites I visit. So I switch ABP off. And then the deluge! My browser slows down, the fan starts to whir, I get dizzy spells with all that junk moving around my screen. My guilt evaporates and I hit that ABP button again.

    And Yet. Honestly – I enjoy seeing ads, like in newspapers and magazines. I’m interested in the stuff I read about afterall, I might want to buy some of it. But when will the little boys in the ad dept work it out – you can’t annoy your prospects into becoming customers! So take a leaf out of the print ad workbook – makes your ads a pleasure to behold, and above all else, keep them STATIC.

    • Romi Kuntsman

      Exactly. I’m always dreaded, when I turn off ABP (or re-install a browser) to see how awfully some sites are built, as if their sole purpose is to show you the advertisement.

  • toboev

    just read your Home Page:
    “Do you know that the number of AdBlock users is increasing at over 100% every year?”

    You ask the wrong question! You should ask:

    “Do you know WHY the number of AdBlock users is increasing at over 100% every year?

    If you don’t seek first to understand the cause then any solution is doomed to fail. Understand WHY people go to the trouble of installing and configuring ABP and you will be on the way to working out a solution, rather than just looking to up the arms race.

    The really funny thing? A product that grows at over 100% per year, without any advertising!

    • Jacob

      Hey Toboev, I appreciate your sincere interest in finding the best solution.

      This question of “why?” is of utmost importance here at dSero. We believe the cause of the sudden rise in ad blocking is due to 3 things:

      1. Ad blocking services are more user friendly now than ever (ad blocking has been around since 2006 – While ads haven’t changed much, browsers and web stores have improved).

      2. Readers feel entitled to ad-free content (just because it’s possible – sounds very Napster-esque).

      3. Overaggressive advertising bothers readers (loud, animated, intrusive ads).

      Whether the fault lies with overaggressive advertisers or ad blocking users, the fact is that publishers are stuck in the middle. From small to large, all publishers are being hurt.

      In efforts of boosting revenue, some publishers are increasing their amounts of paid-content and subscriptions while other publishers ask users to disable AdBlock on their sites. These methods are proven failures.

      dSero’s Anti-AdBlock gets the job done by replacing blocked ads with new, non-intrusive (yet effective) ads.

      Again, I appreciate your involvement. It’s the critical thinkers, those that ask why, like you, that help us shape a self-sustaining Internet.


      • Andy Williams

        “dSero’s Anti-AdBlock gets the job done by replacing blocked ads with new, non-intrusive (yet effective) ads”

        How about just acceopting that we don’t want any adds – obtrusive or otherwise.

        • Moshe Kaplan

          Hi Andy,

          Actually the more important question is how bloggers will do a living from providing objective content.

          We’ll be glad to have your insights


          • Andy Williams

            I couldn’t really care less. I do not like adverts and hopefully adblock will be uparmoured to counteract your programme.

            They can always put a paypal button for donations. If their blogs are that good they’ll survive.

          • Moshe Kaplan

            @andy_williams:disqus. How often do you donate using PayPal and what amounts? Do you have any estimation what percentage of users are actually donate?

          • Andy Williams

            I have only come across one blog with a paypal button in all the blogs I read- Jac O’The North. I donated £20. In addition I also donated £20 to the adblock site and I also donate regularly to Plaid Cymru’s site.

            Next pointless question?

          • Moshe Kaplan

            @andy_williams:disqus Well done! This is a very interesting information actually. Do you believe that if we’ll provide a “Donate” button to our clients, will it provide better results both from users satisfaction and site revenues?

          • Romi Kuntsman

            The user engaging button underneath the advertisement on OkCupid seemed like a nice idea. They already have an option, quite affordable one, to buy a subscription to get rid of all the ads. If you block the ads, they ask you, just to be fair, to get a subscription.
            When the amount is symbolic, the product is great, and the payment is comfortable, then people will pay.
            But it’s also very important not to go against your users, either by obtrusive advertisement, or by forcing them to see it after they went and installed an Ad Blocker. Some people do it because of buggy annoying Flash, some because they use a limited bandwidth connection (such as cellular) in which every byte costs money so they don’t want to waste it on useless banners.
            Make a survey button and ask the users why they chose to remove the banner, never blame them for destroying the economy just because they didn’t want to look at yet another ad.

          • Andy Williams

            I don’t know and i don’t really care. I am a marketeer’s worst nightmare. People who cahse the latest fad are thick bastards. I take what i want when I need it I don’t give a tiss whether it’s the latest acessory or what people think of it. My mobile phone for instance is about 8 years old.

          • Adrian Godslayer

            Then you are an a**hole period.

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  • Mikegy

    Jacob, I think your third point nailed it.
    I don’t mind passive ads down the side of the screen but I use AdBlock as I have had enough of the intrusive, animated and generally overaggressive ads.


  • Daiymeyan Rohwch

    I use ABP religiously. It is one of the first plugins I install on any browser I use, and one of the first I can’t wait to suggest to friends.

    But I’m conflicted. I’m interested in internet marketing and work full-time online so I understand the importance of adverts to generate revenue.

    What this should prompt is a more creative way to advertise, not forceful workarounds. How, exactly, is that going to make your visitors feel? They go to the lengths of installing something like ABP to block ads because they are so sick of them, and you bypass that software and force those same ads? I’d be offended, as will many of your ABP users!

    I’ve also seen people near begging for donations from ABP users when they visit their sites. This is shocking, and goes to show how uncreative and money-grabbing the majority of advertising is.

    You shouldn’t be trying to bypass software like ABP, you should be coming up with new and creative ways to advertise to users. Sadly, I’m sure you’ll cash in with your pointless software before advertisers realize this.

    • Jacob

      Hi Daiymeyan,

      As I’m sure you know, people are working on creative forms of advertising every day. Much of this good advertising (as opposed to annoying advertising) is being implemented by publishers. However, when ad blocking users surf the Internet, all ads are grouped together and blocked – the “good ads” along with the “annoying ads”.

      Anti-AdBlock recovers ad-blocked space and presents new ads. We do not present “annoying ads” that move and yell at you while you read. Since we understand how publishers and users feel, we strike the right balance between ad effectiveness and subtlety.


      • Nicole von St Ange

        If I’m not going to follow the links anyway, why should it matter that I
        block them? If the problem is that users block ads the question should
        be “Why do they block ads?” NOT “How can we stop them from blocking

        The only person I’ve known who has clicked on one of those ads is my
        mother, and it was by accident and the pc got a virus. Is it a big
        surprise that I installed ad-block for her?

        So while your product would counter this I feel that it’s almost out of place. If a website hopes to make money from advertising they should take a more active role in what that advertising is. If people are blocking the ads, not only is the site owner losing out but the advertisers are as well.

        • Jacob

          @twitter-61563540:disqus I want to know what you mean by, “…they should take a more active role in what that advertising is.”?


          • Mark

            it’s pretty obvious, her mother clicked on an add and got a virus – hence the site owner should take an interest in what ads are on their site and if they are legitimate…
            i am a user of abp for 1 reason – i do not want to read dodgy ads . As people have said – if you want people to read ads – make them interesting and relevant and not the crazy banner and pop ups that we get without adp.
            if you are advertising your own product, or one that you have written yourself into the web page then you have no issues with adblock as these show up, it’s when you get greedy and let advertisers put any old crap on your page that adblock works.

            Stop complaining about earning a living – writing a blog is not a good enough reason to get paid…. its a hobby…

            If you don’t want to do it free – there are many that do – now quit bitching.

          • Jacob

            @c8d9b392cf0176e3bf58062055c6b169:disqus Thanks for your input, Mark. I’m going to ignore that last line you wrote, mostly because I know how important blogging is to so many people and businesses.

            In consideration of the one reason why you use ad blocking, “i do not want to read dodgy ads,” we address this issue as a top priority – I don’t like dodgy ads either! So, with Anti-AdBlock, we only present safe ads from respected companies.

            What do you think?


  • Andy Williams

    I use AdBlock+ and it’s excellent.

    Anyone out there that is a Chrome user and hasn’t installed it, put it on your laptop and take it to work. Then on your work PC bring up something like the Daily Telegraph page and do the same on your laptop. You’ll se the difference straight away. The banner add at the top is gone, all the side ads and all the embedded ones..

  • Marty

    To be honest, this page is an excellent advertisement for AdBlock.

    I will be downloading it today, and telling everyone I know about it.

    • Moshe Kaplan

      @12301bf89b71e4f6e53c7d7d2985ad84:disqus you are right.

      Raising this issue has a downside that some people that are not aware of AdBlocks will start using it.
      Yet, the question is if we and the online industry will avoid AdBlocks, will the phenomena disappear? After consulting media leaders and analyzing data from thousands of sites all over the world, we think that the answer is no.
      The current growth rate of AdBlock downloads is over 100% annually. w/o any advertisement.
      What do you think? Should we avoid it?

      • Romi Kuntsman

        Any site with annoying advertisement is an advertisement for AdBlock, the moment someone goes to search “how to remove annoying ads”. And these days even babies can search online, even before they can spell advertisements.

        • Moshe Kaplan

          @facebook-519914096:disqus This is an interesting insight. It is sign of the SEO effectiveness + store marketing effectiveness, since I know no other marketing effort that are done in this field.

  • Antiadblockmyarse

    Ignoring the Why part will be your downfall. The quicker the better ignorants like you realise that you can’t impose what you want on people and expect them to suck it up. People don’t have to put up with ads of any kind.

    • Moshe Kaplan

      Actually the more important question is how bloggers will do a living from providing objective content.
      We’ll be glad to have your insights

  • Michael

    Well no, a 6% loss is just a 6% loss.

    The fact it looks big because the 100% number is very big doesn’t make it whopping.

    The same flawed reasoning forms part of many of the “If everyone ate just 2 slices of toast less a year that would save a whopping gigawattz of elastic trickery. But in fact, it saves a trivial and insignificant amount”

    It would make very little sense to chase this supposed 5 billion “loss” compared with, say, improving the hit rate on the 94% of unblocked adverts.

    It seems to me, if your figures are correct, the vast majority couldn’t give a shit about adverts enough to fret about them. A whopping 94% according to your figures :)

    Although I’m sure, ironically, they would get more customers for their ad blocking software if they advertised them :)

    • Moshe Kaplan

      @twitter-156451158:disqus 6% is not very high when you look on revenues, but for many online businesses, it might be very significant on the bottom line.

      I familiar with several large media groups (online newspapers and large blogs) that are not far from break even, and 6% revenues may change the balance sheet.
      Yet, our data show that AdBlock download rates are growing over 100% annually.
      What is the % of AdBlock that you will define as “Houston we have a problem”? 10%, 20% 50%?

      • Romi Kuntsman

        It’s like the movie downloads. Film companies, already earning millions, are claiming their “loss” from every downloaded movie amounts to how much someone would otherwise pay for a hard copy or cinema ticket. When in face, it can’t be further from the truth, since they would probably not watch it at all than pay anything, and also won’t tell their friends who actually might pay for it themselves.

        • Moshe Kaplan

          @facebook-519914096:disqus I’m not sure that this the right correlation. Since in the US, piracy and file sharing are considered “Wrong”. Do you think that AdBlock will keep as a 5% niche of people that are doing “the wrong thing” or is going to be a widespread phenomena?

          • ignigena

            Oh man, in a few years I hope to see those figures over the 30%, and with a little of luck in a decade or two ads would be almost extint.

            They are having a 100% increase each year, so in a couple of years if they keep that increment speed we will be talking of a 24%.

  • wotaboutwotwewant

    I detest intrusive adverts on TV and online. That is why I don’t watch live commercial TV and will record programs so when I watch them I can avoid the crap adverts. If advertisers want to recover lost revenue they should spend less on advertising.

    • Jacob

      @b4a9e9223a339cb7ca96441fcd7ee62a:disqus If advertisers spend less on advertising, won’t they sell fewer products and hurt revenues even more? How else would you tell the world about your awesome new product?


      • ignigena

        If their products cober a necesity then they will be sold, If a product is good then people will talk about it or you would see them using it. If they need adds to sell then I dont want that product. Apple does not make many adds and they are absolutly great at marketing. If you have something new and good then dont worry, adblock is a great example of this.

        • Jacob

          @80c4b2d14f251d04ccc47b45a1b0f2b3:disqus Are you saying that Apple products are a necessity? You don’t buy products from companies that advertise? Have I misunderstood?

  • flippertie

    FWIW – I understand the need for ads. I read a few and may even click on one every once in a while.

    But without exception I block ads on sites that unnecessarily split their content into multiple pages.

    There’s only one reason to split a 500 word article into two pages – and that’s to double the number of ads requested from the ad-server, and so increase the site’s revenue.

    If a site makes me load 5 pages to read an article – i’m going to make sure the pages load as fast as possible – which means no ads.

    • Jacob

      Thanks for your input, flippetie.


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  • Paul Duxbury

    I hate online advertising crap. I use ABP and so far I’ve seen no ads resulting from the Anti-ABP plugin. This talk about ABP stealing from Adsense users is utter bollocks – we don’t want ads and we’re willing to go to great lengths to avoid them. So why would you go to the trouble of forcing ads on people who don’t want them? If I saw an ad I would certainly never click on it. Furthermore, I’d never buy anything else from that company. So Anti-ABP fuels the anti-ad resentment. It’s called shooting yourself in the foot.

    I suspect you really haven’t thought this through.

    • Jacob

      @google-c2a9baffe0654f49060bf37a36375ebc:disqus We appreciate the insight, but it seems that you would be surprised by the high number of ad-blocking users that still click on ads. Are there ANY kind of ads that you would click on?

      • Paul Duxbury

        None. And how would Adblockers click on ads if they’re using ABP? Are you referring to the ones you force on their attention? What are your sources for this claim?

        I’m old enough to remember when the internet was ad-free. It was a place of knowledge, passion, enthusiasm. Your lot have turned it into a shopping mall and scammers’ paradise.

        • ignigena

          you sir are absolutly right. Adds are a disease and its time we start looking for the cure, in the tvs we have to change channel, in the newspapers we have to go read other page, in the internet we have to install adblock. I didnt knew about this incredible tool before reading this article, I just installed it and donated 60 to the cause. If a product is good enought people will talk of it if its not, then you use adds. Adds are meant to manipulate us, there is simply not good add.

          • Jacob

            @80c4b2d14f251d04ccc47b45a1b0f2b3:disqus What methods, other than advertising, would you use to tell the world about your company’s products (given that you own a business)?

            We are always looking for innovative internet ideas.

          • Cognetica

            What about looking to meet customers needs? I have limited resources of time and attention – of course you can temporarily grab my attention by louder, more ‘in my face’ more garish ads, but why? Doing that does not help me get my needs met. And it leaves me feeling like someone has been shouting at me with a megaphone. I talk with people about those adverts and tell them if the company thinks it is ok to advertise like that, it doesnt fill me with joy about their product or service. You say you are looking for ‘innovative internet ideas’. This is non-specific to the level of ‘Mom and Apple Pie’ statements. Most people I know are barely using their TV’s and will hear buzz about subject areas from their friends – e.g. I heard about the Queen Charlotte tsunami warning from a friend in Jersey – and was checking in with a friend in the islands (from where I live in London) before there was anything on the MSM. My Jersey friend helped me get my need of knowing my Canuck friend was o.k. Another example – this year I got a smartphone and re-discovered my love of photography – after improving a lot, I wondered – is there a simple way of me selling my best work online – in steps InstaCanvas – a clear clean site, simple options, quality product. Again – they enable me to do something that meets a need.

        • Jacob

          @google-c2a9baffe0654f49060bf37a36375ebc:disqus Wasn’t the entire Earth ad-free at one point? Where should advertising be allowed, where would YOU reasonably draw the line?

  • Ilfar

    I don’t block ads, I just stop using sites that consistently have annoying ones. There’s always another site out there that offers the same thing as the one I’m using, and eventually I’ll find one that isn’t annoying to use. Basically if it moves or makes noise I stop using the site.

    For the rest of the ads, I’ve been trained by ad companies to ignore the ads anyway. Inflated claims and loss leading deals to sucker me into looking at the site mean that clicking an ad isn’t actually going to be worth my time. The bad operators have left me with no faith in anything being advertised.

    That’s not a fault of advertisers who make good ads that faithfully represent what they’re selling, but it is, unfortunately for them, the environment they are working in. Complaining about it won’t change that.

    Having said that, I’ve clicked through, AND purchased from ads before, from a couple of webcomic sites that pick and choose who their advertisers are and produce their own ads for those advertisers. Spend the money to make the money, eh?

    • Jacob

      @3905bf288f24e381abebfc7a78e91ceb:disqus That’s a very interesting and thoughtful perspective. You are your own ad-filtering software, if you will. But, what is the reason why you don’t use an ad-blocking extension? Is it because you like to see a product that may interest you, because it helps you differentiate between sites you like and don’t like, or because of sympathy?

  • Bridget

    This sort of thing should be a message to advertisers that their ads are getting REALLY annoying, and that maybe, just MAYBE, it might be time to try to think up a less bloody stupid way of getting the word out there about your product.

    Obnoxious ads that bounce around the screen or blast noise through my speakers or try to load little videos or flash alot, or any number of other variations on the theme of “annoying”, will NOT get me to buy the product that the company is selling, even if what it’s offering is within my interests. What it WILL do is get me to very specifically buy from whoever competes with that company instead (if the competing company is not also being ultra-annoying with ads).

    Even worse is the sheer percentage of ads that have absolutely squat to do with anything I care about. Cars, for instance. I have a car already. I dont need more cars. You can advertise cars at me all day, every day, for 5 years, and it will not get me to even consider buying a new car. These ads…. particularly the ones in video form…. are a complete waste of time when thrown at me. Same with ads for, say, any alcoholic product. I dont drink. Never did, never will. No amount of irritating beer ads will ever have even the most minuscule chance of changing this.

    And this type of thing could be so simple to fix. I understand that ads generate much-needed revenue for the sites that host them. If those sites could be convinced to ask the right questions as part of any registration process, this might work out better. Questions specifically pertaining to what kinds of ads might actually interest the user; in my case, that’d be gaming-related stuff. Gaming-related ads, if done RIGHT, as in, not making noise and ricocheting around the screen, can sometimes grab my interest and get me to click on them to check them out. That type of method, of simply ASKING directly what the user’s interests are, would be very much preferable to sites that have ads screaming about incredibly random things. It kinda surprises me that nobody really seems to do this.

    But even that wouldnt help if the ads are just really annoying.

    I use ad-block entirely because of the annoying ones, particularly the unending video ads (almost always for stuff I couldnt care less about) on Youtube and similar sites.

  • samtoobad

    i think its great, i dont want too see adverts neither do most people, there just annoying wether non-aggressive or not, ads are ads and i will continue telling everyone that will listen to install it on their computers. My reason is im sick of other people making money off me surfing the web.