Hand holding a smartphone with its display open on YouTube

Believe it or not, YouTube is escalating its fight against ad blockers using strong messaging about potential disruptions to the user experience! To enhance its ad revenues and boost premium subscriptions, the platform now encourages users to either allow ads or upgrade to YouTube Premium for an uninterrupted, ad-free journey.

And users who remain adamant about using ad blockers may have to bear with a degraded viewing experience. Read more!

What Is Happening?

YouTube representatives have openly discussed with Business Insider the pivotal role ads play in facilitating and expanding the projects of their creators. They pointed out that the employment of ad blockers directly violates YouTube's usage terms. To resolve this, the company has been ardently endorsing the idea of either enabling ads or shifting to YouTube Premium for seamless, ad-free viewing.

The Impacts On Users Across Various Browsers

Android Authority, a news site specializing in Android affairs, confirmed that viewers using active ad blockers experienced a delay of several seconds before a video would start playing. They found this delay to be consistent across numerous browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, not just Google Chrome. Google verified that these delays were common across all browsers installed with ad blockers.

YouTube stressed that its ad blocker detection system does not differentiate between browsers, but the existence of delays was reported across all browsers, and users who insist on using ad blockers will continuously experience a subpar viewing experience.

Because of that, Business Insider highlighted that viewers using ad blockers might have encountered:

  • a degraded viewing experience; and
  • loading delays.

Irrespective of the browser used.

Moreover, users who have detached their ad blockers may still face temporary loading delays and are advised to refresh their browsers.

YouTube's Rigorous Measures – And Its Responses To The Users

In its crusade against ad blockers, YouTube has been increasingly strict. As of June 2023, it started preventing viewers with active ad blockers from watching videos and initiated pop-up alerts.

According to Android Authority, if a user dismisses these alerts across three videos, they would be barred from watching further videos until the ad blocker is deactivated.

Several users reported and shared screenshots of YouTube pop-ups reprimanding them for the use of ad blockers. Moreover, they claimed that YouTube would withhold video playback until the ad blocker was deactivated or the user subscribed to YouTube Premium, which starts at $ 13.99 per month.

The platform is undeniably pushing for a shift in the digital viewing culture, where the importance of ads is acknowledged, or users transition to premium for an undisturbed, ad-free experience.

In the end, it will be up to the users to choose between tolerating ads, paying for premium, or dealing with viewing setbacks.