YouTube Tests Limiting Video Access for Ad-Blocker Users

YouTube is conducting a global experiment to discourage users who employ ad blockers by limiting their video access. Under this test, users with ad blockers enabled will only be able to watch three videos before the app stops working.

A spokesperson from YouTube explained, “We’re running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium. Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers.”

The rationale behind this experiment is to address the decline in ad revenues that many businesses, including YouTube, are facing. To sustain the platform’s free access for billions of users worldwide, YouTube is encouraging viewers to either allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.

According to YouTube, “ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service,” and users will receive repeated notifications requesting them to enable ads. In extreme cases, if users persist in using ad blockers, their video playback may be temporarily disabled.

When users encounter the notification stating, “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 allowed or the ad blocker is disabled,” they can provide feedback if they believe they have been incorrectly flagged as ad blocker users.

This experiment follows YouTube’s earlier tests, including up to 10 unskippable clicks within a single break ad in September 2022. In May, the platform announced the introduction of 30-second ads on TV platforms, which received mixed reactions from users.

YouTube is actively promoting its YouTube Premium subscription as an alternative for users who wish to enjoy an uninterrupted viewing experience without ads. The company wants to inform viewers that ad blockers violate its Terms of Service and aims to make it easier for them to allow ads or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. In India, YouTube Premium plans start at ₹129 onwards.

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