Earlier, we reported that Google-owned YouTube was running “a small experiment globally” to block viewers from watching videos on the platform with ad blockers enabled.
The video streaming platform has now expanded this ad-blocking crackdown by launching a global campaign asking users to either allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
Many Reddit users complained on the r/YouTube subreddit about getting pop-up notification requests to turn off the Ad blocker for every video they watched on YouTube while keeping their Ad blocker on.
“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 allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled,” reads the notification as seen in one of the screenshots shared by a Reddit user.
“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.”
After receiving this warning, YouTube users are presented with two options, which are either to disable their ad blocker and allow YouTube ads (or) subscribe to YouTube Premium to watch videos without ads.
YouTube’s Communications Manager, Christopher Lawton, confirmed in a statement to The Verge that the company has “launched a global effort” to crack down on ad blockers, which violate the platform’s terms of service.
“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. Ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favourite content on YouTube,” Lawton told The Verge.
He further emphasizes that ads are necessary to support creators and provide free access to content for billions of users.
The global crackdown by YouTube suggests that the video streaming platform is getting more aggressive in its approach to push ad blocker users into Premium subscriptions.
Currently, YouTube’s Premium subscription costs $13.99 per month (or $139.99 annually) in the U.S., which provides users ad-free access to content across the platform and YouTube Originals. It also has a family plan for up to five members (aged +13), which is $22.99 per month, while the student plan is $7.99 per month.
The paid subscription also comes with the platform’s audio-streaming service, YouTube Music and YouTube Kids, without paid ads.
Users can also download videos to watch offline and play videos in the background when using other apps or when their screen is off.
Recently, YouTube ended ‘Premium Lite’, its most affordable subscription plan for ad-free video viewing, in select European countries, effective October 25, 2023.