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Ad Blocking in the UK 2018

Growth Slows as Behavior Becomes Part of the Mainstream

About This Report
Ad blocking user growth is slowing in the UK, with rates much lower than in France and Germany. But it’s still costing publishers revenues. Better advertising and messaging are on the horizon, which might help slow rates still further.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The number of ad blocking users is stabilizing in the UK. As it becomes an accepted part of the landscape, publishers and marketers are working out how best to communicate the value exchange involved in ad-supported models.

How many people in the UK are using ad blockers?

Rates of ad blocking in the UK remain relatively low compared with other Western countries tracked by eMarketer. We estimate that 12.2 million people in the UK will use an ad blocker at least monthly in 2018, representing 22.0% of internet users, compared with 28.7% in France, 32.0% in Germany and 25.2% in the US. Growth in user numbers will slow to single digits for the first time.

How prevalent is ad blocking among 18- to 24-year-olds in the UK?

As is so often the case when it comes to digital trends, behaviors are more pronounced among certain younger age groups. In the millennial cohort, for example, ad blocking user rates are much higher than in other age brackets. We expect 43.0% of UK internet users ages 18 to 24 will use an ad blocker this year.

How many people use ad blockers on their mobile devices in the UK?

We predict that 38.0% of ad blocking users will use such software on smartphones. This proportion has increased significantly in the past four years—up from 16.3% in 2014.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features eMarketer’s latest forecast for ad blocking users in the UK. It also examines the determining factors of ad blocking use and how publishers and marketers are adapting to the current landscape.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

14expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. eMarketer Forecast
  3. Behind the Numbers: Trends and Context
  1. Challenges for Publishers and Marketers
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Patrick Edlefsen
Managing Director D/A/CH
Interviewed July 31, 2018
Nick Flood
Dennis Publishing
Deputy Managing Director, Digital
Interviewed July 27, 2018
Johnny Ryan
Chief Policy and Industry Relations Officer
Interviewed August 7, 2018
Rune Werliin
Vice President, Marketing and Professional Services
Interviewed July 19, 2018
Chase Buckle
Senior Trends Analyst
Interviewed July 24, 2018
Brian Kane
Co-Founder and COO
Interviewed July 31, 2018
Felim McGrath
Senior Trends Manager
Interviewed May 24, 2018
Gabe Morazan
Senior Product Manager, Digital Governance
Interviewed July 20, 2018
Louis Prunel
Interviewed July 30, 2018
Richard Reeves
Association for Online Publishing (AOP) – UK
Managing Director
Interviewed July 19, 2018
Justin Taylor
Managing Director, UK
Interviewed July 24, 2018
Ben Williams
Senior Director, Ecosystems
Interviewed July 16, 2018
Guillaume Périé
Thomson Reuters
Head of Programmatic, EMEA
Interviewed July 31, 2018
Dominik Reisig
Interviewed July 11, 2018


Bill Fisher


Sean Creamer
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Shelleen Shum
Director, Forecasting
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