The world’s biggest tech giant, Google, has been caught on testing a countermeasure to browser add-ons that block various ads on YouTube, the streaming platform owned by Google.
Currently, the said YouTube ad countermeasure is in the form of a pop-up when browsing the platform if YouTube detects users using some kind of ad blocker plugin or any form of a third-party program that prevents the service from showing ads to the end users; either in the form of a dedicated section for ad or one that is embedded during the streaming of a video.
The new alert notification was first found on Reddit two days ago as of writing by the user u/Sazk100. On the pop-up notification, it says “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube. It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide.” It is then continued with suggestions on opting for YouTube Premium instead. “You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid from your subscription.”
It then prompts users to either whitelist YouTube from their ad block or redirect users to opt for YouTube Premium, which in the US cost $11.99 per month.
Fortunately, Google seems to still allow users to either ignore or close the notification pop-up as it has the “x” icon on the top right of the notification. However, for how long it remains that way is still unknown.
Since the blow-up, Google, through one of the YouTube employees who voluntarily reached out to YouTube’s subreddit, has confirmed that “yes, this has been confirmed as an experiment by YouTube”.
From what we observe at the moment, this trial experiment has been conducted with a really limited number of random YouTube users around the United States. Therefore, there should not be many people that got affected by this pop-up.
There have been several pros and cons comments about this situation as some show support and understanding of this situation whilst there are also some who are against it; which as of writing, seems to be the majority.
One comment sends their frustration and the reason why people opt for ad blockers:
“Youtube pushed many people to use ad blockers due to massively long ads that will frequently interrupt videos.
I can’t use my watch later list without an ad blocker due to the types of ads.
For example, youtube will still occasionally have mid-roll ads that are effectively 20+ minute videos advertising some scam. While you can skip them after few seconds, it is annoying if you want to do something like clean while the watch later list is playing, or washing dishes while going through a playlist, because when an extended ad comes up, where is no proper way to skip it.
Furthermore, you can’t use playlists or the watch later function due to how they manage ads at the beginning and end of a video. You effectively have to babysit the app otherwise you will get 4 ads including ones that can be entire full length videos between actual videos in your list.”
Another also shows their frustration because of the length of the ads that gets longer each day, however, at the same time they pay less to the actual content creatorー despite the fact that YouTube, in the notification uses the creators as the reason for why users should disable their ad blocker:
“…but if they didn’t keep making longer, more frequent and irrelevant ads, all the while paying creators less… People might actually be more willing to watch them and actually feel bad using blockers. When even creators sympathise with people using them, you know you have a problem.”
“Support them directly if you can. Always.”, closes the commenters.
One of the YouTube subreddit content moderators, u/LightCodeGaming added a comment that the reason why this direction is badly received is because “YouTube has in the past flat out said they were against the idea of adding systems to deter the use of ad blockers. It’s another case of YouTube going back on their word, which is why we are against it.”
Several actual content creators on YouTube have also put a comment regarding this experiment such as Mutahar from the channel SomeOrdinaryGamers in his tweet which he says “Bro with the double ads every minute on videos I don’t knock anyone for using ad block lmao.”.
YouTube has been found out on experimenting with a feature to notify users who use ad blocks to either disable or subscribed to their YouTube Premium.
However, the experiment seems to not be well received as plenty of users; including creators themselves have expressed to be against the idea.
From lots of the comments, it can be concluded that users could be more lenient towards the idea of having ads if Google can refrain from pushing too many ads on each uploaded content; such as at the time back in September 2022 when YouTube 10 unskippable ads were becoming a hot topic due to YouTube’s change in managing their ad stamps.
Currently, various YouTube ad blocker and ad blocker for YouTube are still usable as this implementation has yet to be final.