YouTube is reportedly stepping up its efforts to deter viewers from using ad-blocking tools while enjoying content on its platform. As per BleepingComputer, there have been instances of users sharing images on platforms like Reddit, showing a pop-up alert warning them of a potential block on their player after three videos.
The alert indicates that YouTube will restrict their video playback capabilities unless they deactivate their ad blocker or whitelist the website. The notice further explains, “Ads enable YouTube to remain a free service for billions of users globally.” To enjoy an ad-free experience, YouTube advises users to subscribe to YouTube Premium, ensuring content creators still receive compensation. Previously, YouTube only displayed pop-up reminders to ad blocker users, highlighting that such actions violated the site’s terms of service. Over time, it incorporated a countdown timer to these alerts to encourage viewers to read them thoroughly.
BleepingComputer received confirmation from the website that these new alerts are part of a trial. A representative informed the outlet that YouTube is “conducting a minor global experiment that encourages viewers with activated ad blockers to permit ads on YouTube or consider YouTube Premium.” The spokesperson mentioned that in severe cases, where viewers persistently use ad blockers, YouTube might temporarily suspend playback. However, this would only occur “if viewers consistently disregard requests to enable ads on YouTube.” It remains uncertain whether YouTube will automatically restrict playback after a viewer watches three videos or if they will be granted additional chances to comply.
Currently, this new strategy impacts a limited number of users, and YouTube has not disclosed the exact number of people or regions involved in the experiment. Given that the platform primarily generates revenue from ads and has witnessed a decrease in ad revenue over the previous three quarters, it wouldn’t be surprising if this trial is extended to a broader user base globally, should it prove successful.