YouTube's crackdown on ad-blockers officially goes global

midian182

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A hot potato: YouTube's ad-blocking attempts have moved from the "experiment" stage to a full-blown global effort to stop users from dodging advertisements. The Google-owned company is telling viewers to either allow ads on the site, disable their adblocker, or subscribe to YouTube Premium; otherwise, they will be prevented from watching content.

In a statement shared with The Verge, YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton confirmed that the company had expanded its ad-blocking campaign globally.

YouTube's battle against ad blocking can be traced back to May when it ran an experiment in which a popup appeared on the platform for some users warning that ad blockers were not allowed. It noted 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 finished with two options: allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium, which is now $13.99 per month or $139.99 per year for access to original programs and no ads. However, users could simply close the message and carry on using the ad blocker.

Things got serious in June when YouTube introduced a punishment for those who did not comply with its demand to turn off their blocking software: being limited to just three video views. But this was still classed as a small experiment.

YouTube's ad-blocking efforts intensified a few weeks ago. Android Authority highlighted the rapidly increasing number of angry posts on Reddit from users complaining about the policy and threatening to boycott YouTube completely.

Google's support page states that blocking ads on YouTube is a violation of the site's terms of service. It notes that after being warned to allow ads or sign up for YouTube Premium, those who continue to use ad blockers may no longer be able to watch videos.

Also read: Windows Phone returns from grave as an anti-ad-blocker on YouTube

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, and Google posted its second straight drop in ad sales for the first quarter of 2023.

It's easy to understand why people are angry with YouTube. In addition to introducing unskippable 30-second ads to its TV app, the company has also increased the price of YouTube Premium this year. There were also experiments that restricted YouTube's 4K content to Premium subscribers, and the platform now offers a higher bitrate "1080p Premium" option to paying users.

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Youtube is not worth $14/m and if anyone remembers the "ad-pocolypse" then you'll remember how Youtube's horrible ads drove people, in very large numbers, to find ways to block ads who otherwise would not have used an adblocker.

Now we are left with what's going to be a game of cat and mouse with ad blockers. Youtube is unwatchable with ads. If it was 1 or 2, 5 second preroll ads every 3 videos, like it use to be, then we wouldn't be here. But now there are unskippable 30 second ads and multiple mid-roll ads.

Google, is either going to need to back of the ads or back off the adblockers. If it doesn't then it will lose its real bread and butter which is data collection. Ever since that I learned that depending on my search history that my data could be worth anywhere between $2000-7000 a year I don't feel bad about using an adblocker on sites social media or something google owned. The $1/1000 views they say you get for ads, I'd have to watch 2,000,000 ads, conservatively, to make up what they can sell my data for in a year on the low end.

I don't think Google is going to win this. Also, maybe paying "influncers" hundreds of millions of dollars to switch platforms wasn't the greatest idea?
 
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Google brought this on themselves - YouTube is unusable without blocking ads. Someone will find a way around it, or I will quit using YouTube. YouTube isn't worth $14 a year, much less $140. I deliberately got blocked, but discovered that I could right click on a video and open it in an Incognito window to get around the block. Stay logged in on the normal window, but you don't need to log in on the Incognito window. Once blocked, there is a link to report a problem. I'd use it to tell Google to go - well, you can figure out the rest - but I'm afraid they would retaliate. Fight back, people...
 
You know, it occurs to me that while the discovery algorithm can be powerful well, that part is not really that expensive to run. It will take a while to train for that many users and that many videos but I don't think a lot of people would lose too much sleep if we didn't have any new 13 year old minecraft millionaires for a little bit while an alternative is worked on.

But what about the bandwidth needed to stream all that video you say? What about the server drive space to store them? Well again, it occurs to me that over 20 years ago we came up with a perfect solution to watch popular videos: You see your internet connection consists of both a download speed but also an upload speed since well, you need to communicate 2 ways to search what you want and such. So in the late 90s, people came up with this thing called peer-2-peer file sharing where you don't actually need a server to either store the file or to transfer the file: first person sends it to the second person and while the second person is still downloading he can start transmitting the parts he already downloaded from the first person to a third person.

So the more popular a 'file' is the more bandwidth availability it actually has people keep sharing it. Sure you might need a few 'seeders' at first but that part wouldn't be too much of a burden on enthusiasts.

We know all this because file sharing via peer-2-peer was already way too popular to be left alone and that's why the folks with the money (And Lars Ulrich: he has some money but he's not all that wealthy at least compared to record and movie executives back then, just a very greedy little musician) decided we couldn't have that.

But that was over copyrighted content. It occurs to me that 99% of the content on youtube isn't copyrighted so we wouldn't actually need any new service, just people sharing on social media links to bit-torrent content which can both download and stream video anyways. This doesn't exactly solves the problem with live streaming in quite the same way but hey, at least we could still get all the videos ad free, and without contentious-to-illegal DMCA takedown notices since a lawyer would have to actually show proper legal copyright infringement before a court order orders potentially hundreds of ISP to potentially restrict millions of users so at that point, it's not going to be as easy to claim revenue out of a 45 minute video because it used 15 seconds of your copyrighted song and nobody has the time or the money to show up in court to say 'This was actually fair use exception and claiming ownership of the entire video is illegal so I should get some damages here'
 
Still no ads when watching YouTube using my Shield or LG Smart TV, I pretty much avoid YouTube anywhere else. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if I'll be affected once and for all.
 
Translation: Google needs more money to pay others to put the google search engine as the default. Google does not have enough money - yet - and won't until it has all the money in the world.
A fully updated with all filter sets enabled uBlock Origin on Firefox still works for multiple videos just fine without ads.
For everyone not using uBlock Origin, I would not be surprised if denying youtube the ability to set cookies, or at least clearing youtube's cookies every time you leave the site, would alleviate some of the problem.
 
Please don't attract Google's unwanted attention with posts like this....😀
Google updates it's adblocking twice a day. They look at all adblockers and then implement a counter blockers. Then the adblockers block the blockers. So on and so fourth.

The funny thing is, many people who work at Google also are major contributors to open source projects. I would not be surprised if some of the people on Google massive counter adblock team make there way to an adblocker team.

The worst part, for me, is that I'd happily pay $20/yr for an ad free youtube. But once I found out what my data is worth and that they want me to pay on top or watch ads. Then finding out what those ads are worth......
 
Youtube is not worth $14/m and if anyone remembers the "ad-pocolypse" then you'll remember how Youtube's horrible ads drove people, in very large numbers, to find ways to block ads who otherwise would not have used an adblocker.

Now we are left with what's going to be a game of cat and mouse with ad blockers. Youtube is unwatchable with ads. If it was 1 or 2, 5 second preroll ads every 3 videos, like it use to be, then we wouldn't be here. But now there are unskippable 30 second ads and multiple mid-roll ads.

Google, is either going to need to back of the ads or back off the adblockers. If it doesn't then it will lose its real bread and butter which is data collection. Ever since that I learned that depending on my search history that my data could be worth anywhere between $2000-7000 a year I don't feel bad about using an adblocker on sites social media or something google owned. The $1/1000 views they say you get for ads, I'd have to watch 2,000,000 ads, conservatively, to make up what they can sell my data for in a year on the low end.

I don't think Google is going to win this. Also, maybe paying "influncers" hundreds of millions of dollars to switch platforms wasn't the greatest idea?
Don't forget all the creators that google demonitizes because it goes against their RNG morals, or content that gets censored because it hurts someone's feelings.

If google provided an uncensored, unfiltered, open platform where everyone is allowed to speak, and stopped mucking with searches, THEN I may pay for them. Oh, and theyd have to stop making thousands a year off of my data.

Until then, I'll play cat and mouse.
Google brought this on themselves - YouTube is unusable without blocking ads. Someone will find a way around it, or I will quit using YouTube. YouTube isn't worth $14 a year, much less $140. I deliberately got blocked, but discovered that I could right click on a video and open it in an Incognito window to get around the block. Stay logged in on the normal window, but you don't need to log in on the Incognito window. Once blocked, there is a link to report a problem. I'd use it to tell Google to go - well, you can figure out the rest - but I'm afraid they would retaliate. Fight back, people...
*please drink verification can of mountain dew to continue.
 
Don't forget all the creators that google demonitizes because it goes against their RNG morals, or content that gets censored because it hurts someone's feelings.

If google provided an uncensored, unfiltered, open platform where everyone is allowed to speak, and stopped mucking with searches, THEN I may pay for them. Oh, and theyd have to stop making thousands a year off of my data.

Until then, I'll play cat and mouse.
*please drink verification can of mountain dew to continue.
please drink verification can... ???
 
Me and my friends paid up. However, the moment they start nagging us about the same household thing, I'm canceling it.
 
There's popups on YouTube? Adding the appropirate code to your Block Elements section of your browser takes care of that on their web page. I've found that using Brave mobile instead of their app blocks all ads as well as enables you to keep videos playing in the background or with your screen shutoff, which is helpful for long play format videos that are more like podcasts.

It occurs to me that 99% of the content on youtube isn't copyrighted so...

Most YouTube content that has any amount of effort put behind it is covered under Creative Commons and is copyrighted. The channels that post up copyrighted or content grabbed from other channels are not monetized and slip under the radar because if the system or the copyright owner catches it, they usually just put in a claim on the video and then monetize any ad revenue the video might generate. It would be a giant waste of time to put any effort into a channel and not at least put your content under Creative Commons (YouTube has tools to simplify the process).


Which is the best YouTube alternative?


GrayJay is probably the easiest to implement and has plugins for multiple platforms beyond YouTube. It enables you to sign into your accounts and see the feeds from all sources you have setup in it so you can follow the content creators instead of being tied to a platform. It also keeps ads from running on any of them. It's a project that Louis Rossmann is part of. The app is still in development, but works very well.

 
There's popups on YouTube? Adding the appropirate code to your Block Elements section of your browser takes care of that on their web page. I've found that using Brave mobile instead of their app blocks all ads as well as enables you to keep videos playing in the background or with your screen shutoff, which is helpful for long play format videos that are more like podcasts.



Most YouTube content that has any amount of effort put behind it is covered under Creative Commons and is copyrighted. The channels that post up copyrighted or content grabbed from other channels are not monetized and slip under the radar because if the system or the copyright owner catches it, they usually just put in a claim on the video and then monetize any ad revenue the video might generate. It would be a giant waste of time to put any effort into a channel and not at least put your content under Creative Commons (YouTube has tools to simplify the process).





GrayJay is probably the easiest to implement and has plugins for multiple platforms beyond YouTube. It enables you to sign into your accounts and see the feeds from all sources you have setup in it so you can follow the content creators instead of being tied to a platform. It also keeps ads from running on any of them. It's a project that Louis Rossmann is part of. The app is still in development, but works very well.
That appears to be an Android app only. The same thing for PCs would be nice, especially if it pulls content from YouTube, without the ads.
 
They are firm on making every person visiting YT to pay for premium.
Why do I think so? Because ads are atrocious. They are not an option but a torture now.
I still remember TV ad frequency before I ditched it for good. YT ads are as horrible and frequent as TV ads.
I wonder if watching from countries where monetization is off could help. Of course, they could start blocking VPN IPs.
They are greedy, and stupid.
 
I don't frequent youtube much, but for kicks and giggles I hopped on and I went through half a dozen videos without any ads. So far I see no change. I have a couple of adblockers running at once, so they must be doing their job.
 
I watch YouTube daily. Firefox and ABP work just fine together. May want to give Ghostery a try as well. Stay away from Chromium-based browsers.
 
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