Tech by VICE

Howard Stern Just Taught Everyone's Parents About Ad-Blockers

Stern learned about ad-blocking software live on air Tuesday.

by Kaleigh Rogers
Aug 26 2015, 5:05pm

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

"Oh, dude!"

With those two words, Howard Stern may have just hammered another nail into the coffin for online marketers, after he learned of the magic of ad-blocking software live on air Tuesday:

While Stern was complaining about ads on YouTube, a caller tells him he needs to get some ad-blocking software, which Stern evidently had never heard of.

"Man, I'm sitting through all these ads and you're telling me there's a way to avoid them? I should be so fucking on top of it," he lamented.

The popularity of ad-blocking software has been on the rise over the last few years—in particular, browser plugins such as AdBlock and AdBlock Plus—and it's having a real impact on the business. A recent report estimated ad-blockers are going to cost online publishers $22 billion this year in lost revenue.

But ad-blockers are still a long way from having total penetration, in part because some people just don't even know they exist. Given the average age of his listeners is 47, according to the Howard Stern Ad Network, Stern's on-air revelation likely exposed ad-blockers to a whole new demographic.

Perhaps more telling is that, according to the ad network, 57 per cent of Stern's listeners say they are "extremely loyal" and 52 percent say they are more likely to purchase a product if Stern mentions it. And ad-blocking software is usually free. As Ian Schafer, CEO of advertising firm Deep Focus (who also recorded and uploaded the moment), noted in a blog post:

"Heck, if Howard Stern can convince people to buy Squatty Pottys, he can convince them to install ad blocking extensions."

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