YouTube is intensifying its efforts to combat ad blockers. The platform has initiated a “global campaign” to encourage users to either allow ads or consider using YouTube Premium, as stated by Christopher Lawton, the communications manager for YouTube. When encountering YouTube’s ad-blocker prevention, users might receive a message stating that “video playback is restricted unless YouTube is added to the whitelist or the ad blocker is deactivated,” along with a prompt to permit ads or explore YouTube Premium. Some users may still receive messages about YouTube’s stance on ad blockers but could watch videos, although for one Verge staff member, YouTube now consistently blocks them.
YouTube initially acknowledged its video blocking for users with ad blockers in June, but Lawton had characterized it as a “limited global experiment” at the time. However, YouTube has now expanded this initiative. In recent weeks, more users with ad blockers installed have experienced restrictions on watching YouTube videos, as noted in a report by Android Authority.
Lawton affirms that the use of ad blockers is a violation of the platform’s terms of service and emphasizes that ads play a crucial role in supporting a diverse community of content creators worldwide and enabling billions of users to access their favorite content on YouTube.
Throughout the year, YouTube has introduced several changes to its ad strategy. In May, the company introduced unskippable 30-second ads to its TV app, and it also experimented with longer but less frequent ad interruptions on TV. YouTube is likely aiming to attract more users to subscribe to its ad-free YouTube Premium service with these extended ad breaks. However, a $2 price increase and the discontinuation of its more affordable Premium Lite plan may make this option less appealing to potential subscribers.