YouTube Is Planning to Stop Viewers for Continuing to Use Ad Blockers

The online media platform, YouTube, is mulling whether to prevent users from using ad blockers while watching videos on its platform. The potential policy came to light on June 25 when online commenters on Reddit posted screenshots of a popup notice, warning viewers that they would be blocked after three videos if they refused to allow ads. The warning said that users would be unable to play videos if they failed to disable their ad blocker or add the website to their white list, BleepingComputer reported. “Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide,” the popup warned. To resume service without ads, the platform tells users to get a YouTube Premium subscription so “creators can still get paid.” YouTube Expands Upon an Earlier Experiment in May The experiment follows a previous experiment last month when YouTube directly tested blocking ad blocker users from accessing the platform. “Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers,” a spokesperson told BleepingComputer at the time. “It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allow-listed or the ad blocker is disabled,” the screenshot message read. “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 the warning, viewers will either have to disable their ad blocker and allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium to get rid of the advertisements. Prior to the warning, the platform will show popups to ad blocker users, reminding them that it’s against YouTube’s terms of service. A timer was later added to the popup notices to ensure that viewers took the time to read them, the company said. ​When asked if they planned to block users from accessing the platform for using ad blockers, YouTube told BleepingComputer, that playback might be temporarily disabled in “extreme cases.” “In extreme cases, where viewers continue their use of ad blockers, playback will be temporarily disabled. We take disabling playback very seriously, and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube,” the company said. “To prevent disruption as part of this experiment, viewers using ad blockers may disable their ad blocker, allow YouTube ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium.” It is still unclear if YouTube will not automatically block playback after a viewer watches three videos while giving them more opportunities to comply. The company said that its new approach only affected a small number of users and would not say how many users and regions are participating in the test. It is likely that the test would be expanded across the world if the ad-blocker ban turns out to be effective. YouTube Sees Ad Revenue Drop Due to Ad Blockers YouTube told BleepingComputer that the alerts were part of an experiment in taking a more aggressive approach to urge viewers to allow ads on the platform or pay a regular fee to remove them. “We’re running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium,” YouTube told the news website. The video platform, which makes most of its money from ads, has seen a drop in ad revenue decline over the past three quarters. YouTube saw ad revenue fall 2.6 percent year over year in the first quarter as advertisers pulled back from the platform due to economic uncertainty. The platform raked in $6.69 billion in ad revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2023, compared to the $6.87 billion during the same period last year, according to the latest earnings report by its parent, Alphabet. However, YouTube managed to slightly beat analysts’ expectations of $6.6 billion. YouTube’s Music and Premium services recently surpassed 80 million subscribers, adding over 30 million within a single year, reported Variety. New Family-Friendly Video Platform Provides Alternative To YouTube Meanwhile, a video platform startup, “Gan Jing World,” which was launched in 2022 and is based in upstate New York, is providing content “free from violent, erotic, criminal or harmful material,” according to its website. The social media platform has since gained over 30 million viewers and has built its own data center and cloud server to avoid political censorship. The platform will allow users to set up learning preferences for the company’s algorithm to follow when recommending videos. “Gan Jing World is doing the right thing at the right time,” Nick Janicki, Gan Jing’s director of media relations. “The marketplace and the demand is there for clean content, without a doubt,” Janicki said.

YouTube Is Planning to Stop Viewers for Continuing to Use Ad Blockers

The online media platform, YouTube, is mulling whether to prevent users from using ad blockers while watching videos on its platform.

The potential policy came to light on June 25 when online commenters on Reddit posted screenshots of a popup notice, warning viewers that they would be blocked after three videos if they refused to allow ads.

The warning said that users would be unable to play videos if they failed to disable their ad blocker or add the website to their white list, BleepingComputer reported.

“Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide,” the popup warned.

To resume service without ads, the platform tells users to get a YouTube Premium subscription so “creators can still get paid.”

YouTube Expands Upon an Earlier Experiment in May

The experiment follows a previous experiment last month when YouTube directly tested blocking ad blocker users from accessing the platform.

“Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers,” a spokesperson told BleepingComputer at the time.

“It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allow-listed or the ad blocker is disabled,” the screenshot message read.

“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 the warning, viewers will either have to disable their ad blocker and allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium to get rid of the advertisements.

Prior to the warning, the platform will show popups to ad blocker users, reminding them that it’s against YouTube’s terms of service.

A timer was later added to the popup notices to ensure that viewers took the time to read them, the company said.

​When asked if they planned to block users from accessing the platform for using ad blockers, YouTube told BleepingComputer, that playback might be temporarily disabled in “extreme cases.”

“In extreme cases, where viewers continue their use of ad blockers, playback will be temporarily disabled. We take disabling playback very seriously, and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube,” the company said.

“To prevent disruption as part of this experiment, viewers using ad blockers may disable their ad blocker, allow YouTube ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium.”

It is still unclear if YouTube will not automatically block playback after a viewer watches three videos while giving them more opportunities to comply.

The company said that its new approach only affected a small number of users and would not say how many users and regions are participating in the test.

It is likely that the test would be expanded across the world if the ad-blocker ban turns out to be effective.

YouTube Sees Ad Revenue Drop Due to Ad Blockers

YouTube told BleepingComputer that the alerts were part of an experiment in taking a more aggressive approach to urge viewers to allow ads on the platform or pay a regular fee to remove them.

“We’re running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium,” YouTube told the news website.

The video platform, which makes most of its money from ads, has seen a drop in ad revenue decline over the past three quarters.

YouTube saw ad revenue fall 2.6 percent year over year in the first quarter as advertisers pulled back from the platform due to economic uncertainty.

The platform raked in $6.69 billion in ad revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2023, compared to the $6.87 billion during the same period last year, according to the latest earnings report by its parent, Alphabet.

However, YouTube managed to slightly beat analysts’ expectations of $6.6 billion.

YouTube’s Music and Premium services recently surpassed 80 million subscribers, adding over 30 million within a single year, reported Variety.

New Family-Friendly Video Platform Provides Alternative To YouTube

Meanwhile, a video platform startup, “Gan Jing World,” which was launched in 2022 and is based in upstate New York, is providing content “free from violent, erotic, criminal or harmful material,” according to its website.

The social media platform has since gained over 30 million viewers and has built its own data center and cloud server to avoid political censorship.

The platform will allow users to set up learning preferences for the company’s algorithm to follow when recommending videos.

“Gan Jing World is doing the right thing at the right time,” Nick Janicki, Gan Jing’s director of media relations.

“The marketplace and the demand is there for clean content, without a doubt,” Janicki said.