YouTube now blocking ad blockers, my take!

YouTube now blocking ad-blockers

About a week ago, I started getting nag screens when playing videos on YouTube, saying “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube”, it popped up a couple of times, which I could dismiss by hitting the x after a few seconds, then I did not see it again before today. If their version of deterring the use of ad-blocking software simply displays a nag screen, which can be dismissed, that’s more desirable than being subjected to 6—8 adverts in a 12-minute video, some of them being lengthy and unskippable.

When I first started consuming YouTube, a decade ago, there were one or two skippable adverts at the beginning of the video, and another one or two at the end, which was fine. I could even accept a couple of skippable mid-roll adverts on longer videos, but, when they started inserting non-skippable ads after just 3—4 minutes, then every 3—4 minutes after that, plus some 10—15 minute adverts, which are longer than the video I’m watching, this is when I removed the YouTube whitelisting from my ad-blocker.

I don’t know whether YouTube will be more aggressive, blocking access unless you whitelist the website. But, I suspect that Alphabet/Google will not be more aggressive than a nag screen for fear of people ditching the platform completely, which will have a knock-on effect of reducing the number of advertisers, meaning less money for Google, market forces will dictate Google’s direction in regard to ad-blockers.

The simple solution is for Google to make YouTube a subscription service. To use YouTube, you’ll have to pay $13.99/mo, which I believe is too much of a premium price for a service where YouTube relies on independent 3rd-party creators. I want to support creators, who, incidentally only get a fraction of a penny per ad view, but if I have to constantly skip adverts every few minutes, I will simply close the window. This is exactly why I never use YouTube on my Android devices, too many adverts.

If we could go back to having two skippable ads at the beginning, mid-roll on longer videos, and at the end of the video, I would whitelist YouTube in a heartbeat. Google has only itself to blame, pushing more and more adverts into videos, forcibly on old creator videos, if you believe some creators, all this has encouraged people to use ad blockers. The ball is in your court Google, whatcha gonna do with it?

UPDATE: Nov, 8 2023, 21:22 – YouTube has played it’s hand!

Well, Google has decided on a 3 strikes system, you get 3 ad-free streams before you get this message

Ad blockers violate YouTube's terms of service
I suspect that ad blocker software engineers will find a workaround relatively quickly, we’ll see!

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