Why Software Developers Use Adblockers

In May 2013, six publishers of big German online quality news sites started a campaign asking their visitors to turn off their adblockers to “ensure the continuance of a multifaceted journalistic reporting in high quality”. The results? Huge discussions, an increase of adblocker downloads and a reactivation of the paid content debate. mgm technology partners took up the issue to ask its staff: Developers, do you use an adblocker? Here’s what they said.   People working in the tech industry are the modern web avant-garde. They are not only using the internet every day, they are making it. Even though they are a very special group of prosumers (i.e. producers and consumers at the same time) their opinion can be seen as something like the crystal ball of future web development. And they have a clear message to the web advertising world:

“I would turn off my adblocker if hell freezes over.”


In-house mgm tp survey with the answers of 130 IT experts (click to enlarge).

3 of 4 developers are already using adblockers. They are simply annoyed of ads for two main reasons:
  • Most of the ads are too disruptive and affect a proper usability and user experience.
  • Developers are very web liberal and not willing to bear the compulsion of the classy media industry and their ads any longer. They simply want to use the web self-determined.
That’s a comprehensible argumentation, isn’t it? As a result of their professional origin developers are very aware of their adblock use: Nearly 90% of the developers using adblockers know what kind of adblocker they are using. But …

… society needs high quality journalism!

Don’t we? So what options do we have? A pay wall is a wall. Would people start to pay for content instead of seeing some ads? And would journalism be able to be financed this way? Does the majority of users actually realize that ads pay their need of information?

Summary of data

  • 16 million people are using the leading adblocker every day.*
  • One in four visitors on SPON uses an adblocker.**
  • Half of all developers use an adblocker in their jobs.
  • Almost 3 of 4 developers use an adblocker on their private devices.
  • 88% of all adblock-using developers know what kind of blocker they are using:
  • Most of them (30%) have installed an adblocker with a predefined whitelist.
  • 28% are using an adblocker that blocks every ad.
  • One in five uses an adblocker with a self-configured whitelist.
  • 11% are using something else to block ads.
What’s your opinion? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments! (c) 2019 mgm technology partners. This posting "Why Software Developers Use Adblockers" is part of the mgm technology blog. The author of the posting is Bennet Polenz. We are hiring! mgm technology partners is looking for good software engineers for all our offices. Check out jobs.mgm-tp.com/en/current-jobs.