Ads on YouTube are a bit of a mess, with ad breaks often dominating the experience, which has driven some to using ad blocker tools. Lately, though, YouTube really seems to be cracking down on those users, with more aggressive blocking of ad blockers.
Back in May, YouTube users with active ad blockers started to notice a test where the desktop app would prompt them to turn off their ad blocker, threatening to block video playback if they didn’t. In June, the test continued, with YouTube also confirming its stance that “ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
In recent weeks, it seems as those YouTube has been pushing viewers with ad blockers even harder to allow ads through.
Numerous reports on Reddit over the past couple of weeks show the same desktop prompt to “Allow YouTube ads” or subscribe to YouTube Premium while threatening to block video playback after three videos have been played. As some users show, the prompt appears in place of videos themselves in some cases, or as a pop-up when in fullscreen viewing.
Notably, there seems to be a pattern where this is happening after your account has viewed a certain amount of videos while an ad blocker is detected. Users report that playing videos when signed out, the videos still play and ad blockers continue to work.
So far, it doesn’t seem like YouTube has been pushing this blocking on mobile as much as it has on desktop.
This stronger push against ad blockers on YouTube also comes just after price hikes to YouTube Premium. Back in October, Family plans jumped to $23/month, while individual plans have now gone up to $14/month. YouTube also recently announced that it would push longer ad breaks while also taking away ad controls for creators.
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