YouTube Says Video Slow Downs Aren’t Part of Its Ad-Blocker Crackdown





The latest software updates to ad-blocker extensions Adblock and Adblock Plus have reportedly resulted in performance issues that YouTube viewers originally blamed on Google.

The lags affect Adblock version 5.17 and Adblock Plus 5.17, according to uBlock Origin developer Raymond Hill on X, formerly Twitter

Earlier this week, YouTube users took to Reddit earlier this week accusing the video sharing app of slowing down videos for viewers with ad-blockers installed. The users argued that once the extension was disabled, video load times improved significantly. 

That turned out to be a false connection, with the culprit actually having to do with Adblock’s own software. 

“Recent reports of users experiencing loading delays on YouTube are unrelated to our ad blocker detection efforts,” a YouTube spokesperson told Cord Cutters News via email. “Our help center offers troubleshooting tips for users experiencing issues.” 

The leap in logic makes sense since it came after YouTube brought down the hammer on viewers using ad blockers last year. According to Google, YouTube’s parent company, ad-blockers violate the platform’s terms of service. The ad-blockers also eat into the service’s ad-generated revenue, which is how it makes money and compensates creators.

YouTube has slowed down loading times in the past amid its war on ad-blockers. In November, users reported lagging load times on Firefox and Microsoft Edge, with a few delays on Google Chrome as well.

“In the past week, users using ad blockers may have experienced suboptimal viewing, which included delays in loading, regardless of the browser they are using. Users who have uninstalled their ad blockers may still experience a temporary delay in loading, and should try refreshing their browser,” a YouTube spokesperson told Cord Cutters News via email at the time.

The continued crackdown also aims to push viewers to YouTube’s paid tier, YouTube Premium. The subscription offers an ad-free experience for $13.99 a month, as well as family and student plans. With a subscription, customers can also download videos for offline viewing and access YouTube Music Premium. 

Despite user backlash, YouTube’s efforts have been successful. YouTube Premium cracked Parks Associate’s top 10 U.S. subscription streaming videos list in November. In addition, Google’s third-quarter ad-revenue in 2023 from YouTube was $7.95 billion, compared with $7.07 billion in 2022.  

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect YouTube’s statement and information on the Adblock updates.

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