YouTube now warns users that ad blockers aren't allowed


Posts: 8,809   +110
Staff member
A hot potato: YouTube's annoying ads often push those who don't want to pay $120 for YouTube Premium to use ad blockers. But Google isn't happy about this potentially lost revenue, and has decided to experiment with a feature that urges ad-blocker users to think again.

Redditor Sazk100 posted a screenshot earlier this week showing a YouTube popup warning that ad blockers are not allowed on the platform. It notes that ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide, and that an ad-free experience is available via the paid-for YouTube Premium. The message finishes with two options: Allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium, which is $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year for access to original programs and no ads.

Some users who've seen it say they have been able to simply close the pop-up and continue blocking ads on YouTube, but it's likely that Google will clamp down on this, or make the pop-up appear regularly enough to be a distraction.

The moderators of the YouTube subreddit wrote that an employee had confirmed the ad-blocker message was an experiment by YouTube. A Google spokesperson expanded on this in a statement to IGN.

"We're running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium," they said. "Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers."

While most online companies make their revenue from ads, some complain that YouTube has gone too far, citing its increasing number of unskippable and extended mid-roll ads.

The Reg notes that YouTube brought in $29.2 billion from ad revenue in 2022, an increase from the $28.8 billion it generated the year before, making up over 11% of Google's annual revenue. However, the $7.96 billion that came from ads in the fourth quarter of 2022 was down almost 8% year-on-year as the whole online advertising industry slumped.

Google does often carry out YouTube experiments. There was a trial earlier this year that restricted 4K content to Premium subscribers, and another that offered a higher bitrate "1080p Premium" option to subs.

Whether Google decides to turn this latest experiment into something permanent is unknown, but don't be surprised if it sticks around and becomes more than just a warning.

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Posts: 296   +172
Let’s suppose there is a magical way which makes all the viewers to watch as many ads they through to them, those who don't want or can't stand to watch ads will not engage to ads.

Because this is something that will be noticed, advertisers will start to pay less for the same amount of ads, so you'll have unhappy viewers avoiding the platform and unhappy advertisers and unhappy creators who selling and other stuff to viewers and they will see their views to drop.

Lose - lose - lose situation.

So YouTube needs to accept its inability to improve the situation and do something else. Reduce the price of the premium to 22$ per year. Is it under "cost"? Maybe, but it will give some teenagers (who watch for free anyway) the opportunity to buy it. Maybe they won't buy it because they want the anonymity, who knows, unfortunately there's a risk.
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Posts: 2,302   +1,141
I wonder how this will effect my Shield, it's ad free without an ad blocker, come to think of it so is my LG smart TV I use to watch YouTube content. I know that was one of the major selling points of the Shield back when I bought it and it's been that way ever since, my smart TV on the other hand, not sure how that's not getting ads.

Whenever I watch anything YouTube in a browser without an ad blocker I immediately get bombarded by ads and install an ad blocker as I can care less for the stupid junk being hucked at me by companies I can care less for (Sorry if this effects your revenue, but it's far too distracting and annoying)

I also wonder how a DNS based ad blocking solution would fare to this new tactic, such as pihole for example.


Posts: 517   +329
Advertising is one of the worst professions. Wastes peoples times.
Usually pays someone far too much who is usually already far too rich n famous and doesn't need the cash.
User pays more, for that luxury.
Advertising is irrelevant and pointless to the user. Its unwanted. Its a irrelevant pointless market.
Google can go swing.


Posts: 296   +172
Advertising is one of the worst professions. Wastes peoples times.
Usually pays someone far too much who is usually already far too rich n famous and doesn't need the cash.
User pays more, for that luxury.
Advertising is irrelevant and pointless to the user. Its unwanted. Its a irrelevant pointless market.
Google can go swing.
Advertising (when it works) is a catalyst for sales. For every product that meets people's needs, someone has taken out a loan to produce it, he paid interests, paid fixed costs (rent, electricity, utility bills, etc.), hired employees and paid salaries and insurance, TAXES, etc.

This person or people who have gone through this difficult and dangerous process to produce something that will meet our needs deserve some help. They are not asking for much, they just want to inform other people that there is a product available and if they want it and it meets a need they can buy it.
Can you tell this person who has all these expenses and took all these risks that I am not advertising your product because people don’t want to hear about it?


Posts: 1,268   +2,395
I don't frequent youtube, but from time to time I use it for something practical - like how to fix something broken on a car that I don't know how to do. If I'm getting stopped with adblocker popup and being unable to bypass it, then I'll have zero reasons to use youtube.

Any other news sites that block you from continuing with an adblocker, there are ways to bypass it - some easier than others, but usually I'm too lazy to worry about it and I can find the news story I'm trying to view on a site that isn't trying to force a premium subscription price.

Kids that use youtube, they tend to just learn to deal with the ads over spending $120 a year because well, they're kids. Most don't have access to a debit/credit card to make monthly payments. Those that are savvy enough to use an adblocker may be annoyed enough to simply leave youtube for other video streaming venues and never look back.

I can't see this being a good step for Google/Youtube.


Posts: 94   +106
ChatGPT enters the scene to compete with Google so that their search engine is starting to decrease in popularity for the first time ever.
Step 1) Announce that you're working on something similar, "Yeah we've got BARD, it's awesome and totally not a rush job"
Step 2) Try to increase revenue by adding advertising links that look like emails to Gmail
Step 3) Try to increase revenue by blocking adblockers from YouTube

Anyone care to venture what the following steps are? I'm betting one of them will be blocking adblockers from Chrome and that will likely be a huge mistake. Either Microsoft Edge will greatly increase in popularity or Firefox makes a return to the #1 spot.
Fueled by angry investors that want more profits with no regard as to how it's done I wouldn't be surprised that this is the start of the end for Google, they might go the way of the Dodo (or in this case Yahoo would be a more accurate comparison ;))


Posts: 985   +1,645
Beauty of the monopoly. Create a product, offer it for free to kill all the competitors, ensure everyone is using it for any purpose, wait for some time to make double sure no one can actually create something that could take even a bit of your market, allow people to to use plugins to adjust the experience, and when all is prepared and laid down - it is a harvest time!
Same thing with search engine, same crap everywhere. Illusion of choices, closed platforms, and money for lawyers to ensure any potential startup will be closed and/or bought out, or at least attacked long enough they wont be able to sustain financially all that stupid suing.

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,572   +8,874
If there weren't so many sprinkled throughout the ads, etc. it wouldn't be bad. As is this could make Youtube's death happen a lot sooner ...... I'm waiting for a suitable replacement .... any suggestions?


Posts: 15   +6
Youtube has an ad on everything, so using an ad blocker instead of BUYING youtube premium is something that everyone does.