Ad-blockers will soon earn you a ban from YouTube. The platform is trying to drive up Premium memberships while cracking down on those sneaking around the free ad-supported tier.
YouTube is testing a new anti-ad blocker featuring a countdown timer alerting users when the next ad will play. Users will see the clock popup appear in the top right-hand corner, according to Search Engine Land. It will run for 30 to 60 seconds prior to advertisements starting.
The popup countdown lets users choose to “Allow YouTube Ads” or “Try YouTube Premium.”
The move is designed to close a loophole that compromises YouTube’s ad-supported model, which supports creators who provide entertainment to billions of people for free. Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and the company said it wants to make it easier for people to sign up for Premium or stick with the free ad-supported membership. Banning ad-blockers is one way for the platform to stay free to everyone who wants continued access to YouTube’s free content.
“We’re running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium,” said a YouTube spokesperson. “Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers.”
This is being tested out on a small scale for now but will likely roll out to all free members eventually. Impacted users will receive notifications repeatedly to allow ads instead of seeing video content.
In July, YouTube began testing out another anti-adblocker tactic granting members three strikes before banning their accounts.
Users who tried viewing videos with a blocker in place saw the following message:
The video player will be blocked after 3 videos:
- It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allow listed or the ad blocker is disabled.
- Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide.
- You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid from your subscription.
Members don’t need to uninstall ad-blockers completely. Add YouTube to your list of trusted sites. Open your ad-blocker of choice and select “Always Allow” to grant YouTube permissions.