Ad-filtering users are a force to be reckoned with.
That’s not just because the demographic is impressively large—although that’s certainly true. Approximately 250 million users consent to being served nonintrusive ads while browsing, a practice known as ad filtering.
Yet, however impressive the sheerquantityof ad filterers is, it’s theirqualitiesthat have been a subject of even greater fascination. As we’ve noted before, this demographic tends to be tech-savvy, ad-aware, and digital-first—not to mentionsupportive of publishersanda valuable resource for advertisers.
Characteristics like the impact of social media on consumers’ behavior are widely acknowledged and documented, but equally important is the impact of media and popular culture. Marketing scholars agree taste plays a critical role in judgment and decision-making online (Source) and is a valuable consideration in any marketing strategy.
Thus, the eyeo team worked through data available on GlobalWebIndex (GWI) on internet behavior to investigate just how art and culture fit into the lives of ad-filtering users, and how that differs from the trends seen with other users.
How enthusiastic are ad-filtering users about arts and popular culture?
In a word: very.
When asked whether they self-identify with the term “arts and culture enthusiast,” 58.4% of ad-filtering users responded “Yes.” An even higher percentage—72.2%— of ad-filtering users self-identify as “pop culture and leisure enthusiasts.”
These numbers are significant, especially compared to non-ad-blocking users. Only 30.8% of non-ad-blocking users self-identify as arts and culture enthusiasts and 51.6% of non-ad-blocking users as pop culture and leisure enthusiasts.
If such significant gaps exist, it’s also representative of a different outlook and different priorities, something crucial to understand when addressing such audiences.
How much time are ad-filtering users spending online?
Continuing, when we examined the data concerning two primary online cultural pastimes—film/TV and audio entertainment—a trend emerged. Ad-filtering users spend more time engaging with arts than non-ad-blocking users.
Users who don’t block ads are more likely to forgo watching online TV/using streaming services than ad-filtering users, and nearly 40% of ad-filtering users report watching between ½ an hour and 2 hours per day—more than non-ad-blocking users. The trend continues: ad-filtering users are more likely than non-ad-blocking users to watch between two and four hours, and nearlytwiceas likely to watch 4 or more hours.
And, compared to non-ad-blocking users, ad-filtering users are likely to be devoted consumers of both podcasts and music streaming.
A higher percentage of ad-filtering users than non-ad-blocking users listen to more than four hours of podcasts and/or music streaming. They’re also more likely than non-ad-blocking users to listen to between 30 minutes and four hours of music streaming and to tune in to podcasts. Additionally, non-ad-blocking users are far more likely than their ad-filtering counterparts to forgo podcasts and music streaming.
What genres do ad-filtering users enjoy?
Ad-filtering users' tastes in TV entertainment genres are varied, although “films and movies” and “entertainment and variety” get top billing—the largest numbers of ad filterers report having watched these genres in the past week. And when ad filterers choose to consume TV for purposes of information and education, they overwhelmingly choose the genres of news/current affairs and docuseries.
While this is important for advertisers/brands to acknowledge, it’s also interesting, as with the data above, to consider what differences manifest between ad-filtering user viewing habits and the habits of non-ad-blocking users.
Across the board,allgenres are more popular with ad-filtering users than non-ad-blocking users—but the genres that see the most discrepancy between the audience groups are the most popular.
66.5% of ad-filtering users watch films and movies in a typical week, compared to just 53.8% of non-ad-blocking users, and
70.5% of ad-filtering users watch entertainment/variety shows, compared to a mere 55.2% of non-ad-blocking users.
More than 2/3 of ad filterers reported watching the news in the last week, a higher percentage than non-ad-blocking users, and
55.5% of ad filterers reported watching documentaries in the past week, compared to 36.6% of non-ad-blocking users.
And when ad-filtering users listen to music, they are, in general, more likely to listen to a variety of genres than their non-ad blocking counterparts. Not only do they listen to more music streaming than non-ad-blocking users, but they have a more omnivorous approach to listening. Their tastes are wide-ranging and eclectic.
Responding to the answer “Which of these music genres do you listen to?” answers ranged from alternative to hip-hop, classical/opera to EDM/dance, R&B to jazz.
Why does this matter?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the general trend in these statistics—the strength of ad-filtering users’ enthusiasm for culture and art—was mirrored when users were asked about their motivation for being online in the first place. This is a crucial point.
More ad-filtering users replied that they used the internet to “access/ listen to music” and “watch videos, TV shows, or movies,” compared to their non-ad blocking counterparts. Based on an ad-filtering MAGNA study, it was proven that uncluttered ad environments helped increase brand recall and trust for users.
Similarly in a GWI study, it was found that 23% more ad-filtering users discovered brands via ads seen on websites and 20% via ads on social media as compared to ad-blocking users.
What this means for brands and advertisers is that ad-filtering users, all in all, have a higher probability to view and engage with these ads.
For those of us with a general awareness of ad-filtering users and their role in the ad ecosystem, this doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, media consumption is generally less appealing when it’s broken up with intrusive ads.
When a user is served ads that neither disrupt nor dilute their browsing, they’re able to have a more satisfying and immersive cultural experience, whether their interest is film, fine art, music…or anything else that falls under the umbrella term of “arts and culture”. At the same time, they're able to better recognize the ads they do see, and are able to recall them more easily, rather than succumb to ad blindness.
Advertisers that specialize in these entertainment categories should consider targeting this valuable and reachable set of ad-filtering users in their campaigns.Learn more.