Study: Mobile ads account for half of data costs on popular news sites

Mobile advertising accounts for roughly half of the overall amount of data on popular news sites, according to a new study from Enders Analysis.

Business Insider reported that an Enders study of the pages of eight "popular publishers" of news using a browser impersonating an iPhone 6 found that ad content accounted for 18 percent to 79 percent of mobile data consumed. JavaScript, which is used in both editorial and ad content, accounted for an additional 6 percent to 68 percent of data.

Consumers pay the freight of that data, of course, through their wireless service bills. Additionally, consumers often view mobile advertising as more intrusive and distracting than desktop advertising, largely because of the smaller screens and limited navigational controls of smartphones.

Consumer backlash against mobile ads has spurred the adoption of ad blockers, particularly since Apple began supporting such technologies in iOS in September. A recent survey by the mobile marketing company Tune found that 25 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. and Europe said they had downloaded an ad-blocking app or browser, and Tune predicted that number could reach 80 percent by the third quarter of 2017.

And mobile ad blocking has expanded beyond the handset to mobile networks themselves. The European operator Three said last month it is implementing network-level ad-blocking technology from Shine, an Israel-based developer.

Ad blocking has drawn substantial criticism from the advertising community -- one Yahoo executive recently scolded Shine for "destroying the ecosystem" -- and no U.S. carrier has deployed network-level ad blocking. That seems increasingly likely in the wake of Three's announcement, however. So mobile marketers may have to get more creative to effectively approach on-the-go consumers without being blocked -- and without irritating the users they hope to reach.

For more:
- see this Business Insider article

Related articles:
Three deploys Shine ad-blocking technology in UK and Italy
MWC panel highlights tension between ad blockers and the mobile-ad ecosystem
Spotlight on mobile ad blocking as former Vodafone executive joins Shine

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