YouTube is not pulling punches on adblockers anymore

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YouTube is expanding its push to kill ad blockers. The platform launched a global effort to encourage users to allow ads or opt for YouTube Premium, according to a statement by YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton to The Verge.

Users have reported that typically, a YouTube block is accompanied by a note that says, ‘video playback is blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled.’

If you do not wish to turn off adblock, Google has a solution: sign up for YouTube Premium at $13.99. You may also see some prompts about YouTube’s view on blockers but still be able to watch the video. For some users, though, YouTube now successfully blocks them nearly every time.

Why the sudden, forceful change of tact?

While it may feel like this is coming out of the blue, the move has been in the works for a while, with YouTube first testing it in June, according to an article in the tech publication The Verge. Right now, what we are seeing is the testing and ramping-up phase.

If YouTube can tell you are using adblockers, a pop-up will appear saying they are not allowed. The explanations given there are along the lines of ‘ads make YouTube free.’

Google’s business model is built around advertising, so it will always push to show ads. It is just good business from the company’s perspective. To many experts, the YouTube adblocker ban has not been a surprise.

Blocking adblockers is not new

Many sites know when you use an adblocker and will often restrict access until you safelist them. YouTube also points to its terms of service, which are worded in a way that makes adblock usage a violation of said terms.

YouTube will continue coming down hard on anyone trying to find loopholes in its adblocker ban. Viewers affected can expect repeated notifications urging them to allow ads on YouTube. If they ignore the warnings, playback will be disabled.

YouTube knows that users of its free version who have been using adblock for so long they don’t remember the ads-laden experience will not simply take to the new reality lying down. There are all sorts of workarounds intended to get around the YouTube block, but they all seem needlessly complicated and are meant to be something other than a real fix.

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