YouTube is taking decisive action against ad blockers by restricting video playback for viewers who utilize these tools. If users refuse to disable their ad blockers, they may be cut off after watching three videos.
Confirming its ongoing global experiment, YouTube is pressuring viewers who have enabled ad blockers to either allow ads on the platform or switch to YouTube Premium.
After some users reported seeing new prompts warning about potential video playback disruption due to repeated use of ad-blocking tools, Google spokesperson Oluwa Falodun clarified the company's stance. “Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers," Falodun said.
YouTube assures users that they will receive multiple notifications encouraging them to stop using ad-blocking tools, or alternatively, to subscribe to YouTube Premium, before their video viewing is affected. Falodun added, "We take disabling playback very seriously, and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube."
YouTube defends these actions by emphasizing the importance of ads for creators’ compensation and for maintaining the free platform. The company said, "YouTube’s ad-supported model supports a diverse ecosystem of creators, and provides billions of people globally access to content for free with ads.”
In recent years, YouTube has tested users' patience with increased ad load. Last year, the company experimented with serving up to 10 unskippable clips in a single ad break. Also, YouTube announced the inclusion of 30-second ads on TV platforms.
Offering ad-free content for $11.99 per month or $119.99 annually, YouTube Premium, which also includes offline downloads and YouTube Music Premium, now has more than 80 million subscribers. While YouTube argues that its new policy is about protecting creators' earnings, it is clear that the platform also has a vested interest in encouraging more users to sign up for its monthly subscription.
The company said, "We want to inform viewers that ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and make it easier for them to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience."