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The Double-Edged Sword Of Ad-Blocking Technology Impact On The Creator Economy


The Double-Edged Sword Of Ad-Blocking Technology: Impact On The Creator Economy

Ad-blocking technology refers to software that scans websites for advertisements and removes or blocks them.

Filtering algorithms are used to block or hide advertising content. This allows users to browse the Internet without being interrupted or distracted.

Ad-blocking technology has had a major impact on the advertising industry.

As ad blockers become more popular, advertisers have had to change the way they operate.

A recent report by Spiceworks brought to light user dissatisfaction with certain ad experiences and the resulting need for publishers to limit the number of ads displayed.

The report also suggests that advertisers should focus on making ads simpler and better if they want to connect with users and keep them as customers.

Overview of Spiceworks report on Ad-Blocking

For a comprehensive analysis of the impact of ad-blocking technology on the advertising sector, see the Spiceworks report on ad blocking.

The report covers a global scale, with information gathered from more than 500 experts in North and South America, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

It is based on a survey conducted in 2019 and includes an in-depth review of the data collected.

As mentioned above, the aim of this report is to shed light on the use of ad blockers and their impact on user behavior, and how advertisers can adapt to this changing landscape.

According to the survey’s findings, 87 percent of respondents prefer to employ ad-blocking technology on at least one device. 

Using an ad blocker is popular because it allows users to have a more pleasant browsing experience by removing potentially annoying ads.

Among the most surprising findings of the report is that 94% of users between the ages of 18 and 24 use ad blockers.

The impact of ad-blocking software on commercial businesses was also highlighted in the report.

The results show that ad-blockers have a big effect on how well advertising campaigns work. 

More than half of the people who answered the survey said that ad-blocking hurts their campaigns. 

A more thoughtful and strategic approach to advertising may be needed, as the report found that users trust brands that use non-intrusive advertising.

For marketers, the report recommends focusing on delivering high-quality, non-intrusive ad experiences.

This includes creating native ads, investing in influencer marketing, and focusing on real-time marketing.

In addition, the report suggests that advertisers should be more open about their data collection methods and address user privacy concerns.

The Positive Impact of Ad-Blocking Technology on Influencers

Enhanced user experience and improved privacy 

One of the main reasons users adopt ad-blocking technology is to enhance their browsing experience and safeguard their privacy, as stated in the Spiceworks report. 

A whopping 83% of respondents said that blocking annoying ads was a major factor in their decision to use ad-blocking software. You can see the detailed findings here

Modern-day marketing sometimes leads to a lot of annoying pop-ups, videos that start playing on their own, and other types of ridiculous content. 

Data Privacy

Ad-blocking technology also prevents third-party tracking and data collection.

This enhanced user experience and privacy protection can also be advantageous for influencers.  

Using ad-blocking software, influencers can protect their audience from annoying or malicious advertisements, which can increase their credibility and fan loyalty. 

Also, showing that they care about their followers’ personal data privacy is a great way for influencers to build trust and credibility.

Reduced data usage and faster page load times

The data usage and page load times can be reduced by ad-blocking technology, as stated in the Spiceworks report. 

According to the report, 44% of IT professionals said that ad-blocking technology reduced data usage and 48% said that it sped up page loads. (source)

This is due to the fact that ads consume a lot of bandwidth and slow down page loads. 

This is especially crucial for mobile users, who may be constrained by lower data caps and slower connections.

The report also found that 38 percent of surveyed IT professionals agree that ad-blocking technology has made web browsing more efficient by reducing the number of interruptions caused by ads. (source)

Other factors 

The ability to focus more and waste less time is one added advantage.  Without distractions from ads, creators, and influencers can give their full attention to their tasks.

Also, it has been found that ad-blocking technology can protect influencers from malicious ads that could harm their devices or give away their online privacy. 

According to the report, 22% of IT professionals believe ad-blocking technology protects against malware, while 16% believe it protects against phishing attacks.

The use of ad-blocking software can also help level the playing field for smaller influencers who lack the resources of their larger counterparts in the advertising industry. 

Ad-free browsing may encourage users to interact with lesser-known influencers who produce high-quality content but lack the resources to compete with more established brands in terms of marketing.

To sum up, the Spiceworks report concludes that ad-blocking technology can benefit influencers in many ways. 

These include enhancing the user experience and improving privacy, reducing data usage and speeding up page loads, and protecting against malicious ads while also reducing distractions. 

The Negative Impact of Ad-Blocking Technology on Influencers

Negative impact on creators and the creator economy

The Spiceworks report says that technology that blocks ads can hurt creators and the creator economy severely

This is because a lot of influencers and content creators solely rely on ad revenue to monetize and make money from their content. 

By blocking ads, these content creators could see a big drop in their revenue, which could make it difficult for them to continue creating content.

The report adds that medium and small-sized creators may be hit harder by ad-blocking technology because they lack the resources of their larger counterparts. 

This can lead to a less diverse ecosystem of creators as only the largest and best-funded creators can afford to keep making content.

The report also suggests that ad blocking could encourage creators to create more intrusive ads to generate revenue, which could lead to more users using the technology.

This cycle can lower content quality and user experience, worsening the effects of ad blocking on creators.

While ad-blocking technology can improve privacy and user experience, it may harm creators and the creator economy.  

As such, it is important for creators, platforms, and users to work together to find alternative monetization strategies that can help support the diverse and vibrant creator ecosystem.

Increased difficulty in monetizing content

Ad blocking technology has not only made it harder for influencers to make money from their content in other ways, but it has also resulted in less money for them for their monetized content in general.

Sponsored content and affiliate marketing are two common ways for influencers to make money, but when a large percentage of their audience employs ad blockers, these strategies become less lucrative.

Business Insider claims that the rise of ad-blocking software has led to a decline in sponsored content opportunities for some influencers. 

Read the detailed report on how “Ad-block software is approaching 200 million users – and how publishers are reacting to it” here.

On the other hand, brands believe that a significant portion of their audience will not see the sponsored content, so they may be less willing to engage with influencers.

As an added complication, ad-blocking software can hinder influencers’ ability to monitor their reach and demonstrate their worth to advertisers. 

Many influencer marketing platforms use tracking pixels and cookies to measure engagement and conversions, but if a user has an ad blocker turned on, these technologies might not work.

Overall, the increased difficulty in monetizing content has made it challenging for influencers to maintain their income and grow their business, which can have a negative impact on the creator economy as a whole.

Other factors

According to the SpiceWorks report, there are several other ways in which ad-blocking technology can hurt influencers. 

These factors include:

Reduced reach

Ad-blocking technology can make it harder for people to see and share content, which can affect the size of the audience that influencers can reach. 

As a result, this could stunt the expansion of their fan base and weaken their overall impact.

Loss of revenue

Advertising is a major source of income for many influencers.

Influencers risk losing money if fewer ads are seen by their audience because of ad-blocking software. 

Reduced brand deals

Influencers frequently collaborate with brands to create sponsored content or endorse products. 

Brand deals and sponsorship opportunities may dry up as a result of ad-blocking software reducing the exposure of their content.

Inability to track metrics 

Ad-blocking technology makes it hard for influencers to track metrics like views, clicks, and conversions, making it hard to prove their value to brands.

While ad-blocking technology benefits users, it can hurt influencers who depend on advertising and brand deals to make a living.

The Future of Ad-Blocking Technology

The potential impact of emerging technologies like AI and machine learning

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning may have a significant impact on the future of ad-blocking technology. 

These technologies can improve user experience by targeting ads to individual users and reducing irrelevant or annoying ads.  

AI can help advertisers and publishers create more engaging and effective ads that users see and interact with.

On the other hand, these same technologies can be used to make ad-blocking software work better. 

For example, AI algorithms can be taught to better recognize and block ads, even as publishers and advertisers try to find new ways to let their ads through.

This could lead to a more aggressive arms race between people who want to block ads and those who want to get around them. This would make the ad ecosystem even more fragmented and complicated.

Ad-blocking may also benefit from the blockchain and decentralized computing, which can verify user engagement with ads and ensure creators are paid. 

However, these technologies are still in their early stages and how they will be adopted and integrated into the ad ecosystem is unknown.

Ways to address the negative impact of ad-blocking on creators

While the Spiceworks report didn’t specifically address ways to address the negative impact of ad-blocking on creators, there are a few strategies that influencers and brands can consider. 

Creating more engaging and high-quality content

Creators can focus on creating content that is so engaging and interesting that users will want to support them by disabling ad-blockers or subscribing to their content.

Diversifying revenue streams

To reduce advertising revenue, creators can try merchandise sales, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

Creating native advertising

Native advertising is a form of advertising that mimics the appearance and feel of organic content. 

Creators can collaborate with advertisers to develop native advertisements that blend seamlessly into their content.

Educating users

Creators can educate their audience on the significance of advertising revenue in sustaining their work and encourage them to whitelist or disable ad blockers on their website.

Implementing anti-ad-blocking measures

With the help of paywalls, anti-ad blocker scripts, and pop-up messages, advertisers can get people to disable their ad blockers.

However, it is important to ensure that users are not annoyed or driven away.


Spicework’s report on ad-blocking provides insight into how ad-blocking software affects the digital ecosystem overall and how it affects influencers in particular. 

Ad-blocking has positive effects on user experience and privacy, but negative effects on creators and the economy of creators. 

The report suggests that creators should find ways to make up for lost ad revenue by pursuing other avenues. 

On the whole, the report stresses the significance of sustaining a healthy digital ecosystem while also protecting the privacy of users and the integrity of their data.

For analysis of other research on the Creator Economy, subscribe to our resources here.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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