YouTube has been experimenting with a way to stop ad-blockers on its platform, causing a stir among users who use such extensions.
Ad-blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service as they cut into revenue generated from advertisements the platform needs to stay running. Viewers who use these extensions can face a ban if they do not add YouTube to their list of approved websites.
The sample size for this experiment is small, said YouTube in a blog post in July, though those in the group are already noting their dissatisfaction with it. Jay Peters commented on The Verge earlier this month that he was receiving the block ban notice, followed by a slew of responses from others who are upset about the change.
YouTube, owned by Google, has been free to users in exchange for watching a few ads since 2007. The ad-blocker loophole was one way for people to get the perks of a paid membership without paying or watching ads. But Google is looking to crack down more aggressively.
“We’ve launched a global effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience,” said a YouTube Spokesperson. “Ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favorite content on YouTube.”
While some members think the number of ads is excessive, they’re not ready to sign up for the ad-free plan, which costs $13.99 a month. The service has been free, and the loophole was an option for so long it’s not unfathomable YouTube will feel some pushback from members who are resistant to the change.
For those in the test group who are using a blocker, you’ll see a pop-up before the video plays saying:
Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube
- It looks like you may be using an ad blocker
- Ads allow YouTube to be used by billions worldwide
- You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid from your subscription
If you’re using an ad-blocker and get the notification, add YouTube to your list of approved exempt websites to allow ads. Otherwise, you can sign up for a YouTube Premium account, which includes YouTube Music and lock screen play. You can also tailor ads to your preferences to reduce irrelevant content.