YouTube remains a popular destination to watch content, listen to music, and follow your favourite creators online. The ad-supported version of the video sharing and streaming platform is available for free for all users. But, if you want to get rid of the ads and watch videos on YouTube uninterrupted, you’d have to subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Many users, however, chose not to pay for a subscription and use free but effective ad-blockers to continue watching YouTube without advertisements. This seems to be coming to an end. While YouTube had already begun experimenting curbs on ad blockers, it has now launched “a global effort” to crackdown on ad blocking extensions, leaving users no choice but subscribe to YouTube Premium or allow ads on the site.
According to a report in The Verge, YouTube is expanding its efforts to render ad blockers ineffective on its site. In statement provided to the site, YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton said that the platform has launched “a global effort” to urge users to allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
“The use of ad blockers violate YouTube’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 favorite content on YouTube,” the platform’s official statement reads.
Now, YouTube is blocking video playback for users with ad block extensions enabled. When trying to play a video on the platform, users will now get a notice flagging ad blockers from YouTube. “Video playback is blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled,” the notice reads. The notice also offers users the option to either allow ads or try out YouTube Premium.
Back in June, YouTube had confirmed that it was testing a three-strike policy for people using ad blockers on its platform. YouTube had said that it was running a “small experiment” globally to encourage users to either allow ads or try out its ad-free Premium subscription.
In May, YouTube announced at its Brandcast 2023 event that it was introducing 30-second ads to YouTube Select on connected TVs. Instead of showing two 15-second ads, users in the US would be shown a single unskippable 30-second advertisement.
The platform was also spotted testing video blocking for users with ad blocks enabled. Its efforts seem to have expanded now, with most users unable to play videos on the platform with ad blockers enabled.
YouTube Premium in India costs Rs. 1,290 for a 12-month plan, while a three-month plan comes in at Rs. 399. A one-month pre-paid plan will cost you Rs. 139, while a recurring monthly subscription for YouTube Premium costs Rs. 129 per month after a one-month free trial.