According to a report by The Verge, some YouTube users are now seeing a message stating that YouTube requires watching ads or upgrading to a Premium subscription in order to use the platform. YouTube has confirmed this is part of a small global experiment that began over the summer to prohibit ad blockers.
Users Express Anger Over Ad Blocking Crackdown
Many YouTube users are expressing anger and frustration over this change. Ad blockers are commonly used on YouTube to avoid seeing ads before and during videos. For some viewers, watching YouTube with ads is simply not an acceptable experience.
YouTube Pushes Premium Subscriptions
YouTube has been ramping up efforts to convert more users to its paid Premium subscription service. In addition to cracking down on ad blockers, YouTube recently announced it will be ending its cheaper Premium Lite subscription option in Europe at the end of October. Premium Lite provided an ad-free viewing experience at a lower price point than the full Premium membership.
The crackdown on ad blockers appears to be the latest move by YouTube to make the ad-supported experience more difficult, thereby pushing more users to pay for Premium. Without ad blockers, users will be forced to view more ads or pay up to remove them.
Users Look for Ways to Bypass Restrictions
Many users are looking for ways to circumvent YouTube’s ad blocker restrictions. Some are sharing methods for configuring ad blocker settings to avoid detection by YouTube. However, YouTube will likely work to combat any popular circumvention techniques.
YouTube Holds the Leverage
In the end, YouTube holds the leverage to enforce its ad policies as it sees fit. Users ultimately may have to choose between paying up, watching more ads, or leaving the platform if they want to avoid ads. The days of freely blocking YouTube’s ads appear numbered as the video giant cracks down.