Global: IAB finds 22pc use ad blockers in UK

The use of ad blockers by British adults has risen to 22 per cent, up four per cent since October last year, although one fifth of those who have downloaded the software no longer use it, according to the UK Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Ad Blocking Report.

The survey of more than 2000 adults also found that of those who had downloaded the software, almost two thirds received a request from websites to turn off their ad-blockers. Just over half said in certain circumstances they would switch off the software if it was the only way to access content.

The most common response to the question of what would be make users less likely to block ads was if they did not interfere with current activity, followed by the amount of ads on a page and their relevance.

IAB UK’s chief executive Guy Phillipson said the organisation believed an ad-funded internet was essential for providing revenue to publishers to enable them to provide content, services and applications widely available at little or no cost.

“We believe ad blocking undermines this approach and could mean consumers have to pay for content they currently get for free,” he said.

“Part of the solution to tackle ad blocking lies in making consumers more aware of the consequences, which seems like it’s starting to filter through. If they realise it means they can’t access content or that to do so requires paying for it, then they might stop using ad blockers. It requires reinforcing this ‘trade-off’ message.”

Rapid rise of digital subscriptions in the US

About 80 per cent of major American newspapers have embraced the digital subscription model, according to an analysis by the American Press Institute.

The API analysis included all US newspapers with a circulation above 50,000 and found 77 of those 98 newspaper have implemented a digital subscription model with 71 newspapers launching their subscriptions in the past five years.

“This exponential growth (in digital subscriptions) would have seemed unfathomable in 2009,” wrote API research fellow Alex Williams in a blog post explaining the analysis.

“Publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Atlantic published op-eds questioning whether readers would be willing to pay for news online, and whether digital subscriptions would cause steep losses in readership and digital advertising.”

The analysis did, however, find digital subscriptions are relatively less common at the largest papers, with 64 per cent of newspapers with daily circulation over 250,000 using digital subscriptions compared to 86 per cent of mastheads with a circulation between 50,000 and 100,000.

Mr Williams also notes “newspaper executives are hesitant to disclose financial details about digital subscriptions” and the potential revenue generated by those subscriptions is “murky at best”.

Boston Globe applauds portrayal in ‘Spotlight’BG

The Boston Globe has published a full page ad thanking everyone involved in creating journalism thriller Spotlight after the film took out at Best Picture at the Academy Awards this week.

Spotlight tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into systematic child sexual abuse within the Boston Catholic Diocese.

The ad thanked Spotlight’s cast and crew for its “faithful retelling” of the investigation and said “with the mastery of your craft, you created a riveting story that reminds the world of the essential role newspapers play in the community. And you did it with artful sensitivity.

“We offer our most heartfelt thanks and sincere congratulations to all who had a hand in creating this important film.”

The Globe’s Walter Robinson, who led the Spotlight team during the sexual abuse investigation, attended the Academy Awards, according to The Poynter Institute.

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