YouTube has recently initiated a global experiment aimed at viewers who use ad blockers, a move that has stirred up the online community. The video-sharing platform confirmed that it is testing a new system that encourages users with ad blockers to either allow ads on YouTube or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
The experiment came to light when some users noticed a prompt warning that their video playback could be interrupted if YouTube detected repeated use of ad-blocking tools. According to reports, the new system prevents viewers from watching more than three videos when an ad blocker is active.
Google spokesperson Oluwa Falodun clarified that ad blocker detection is not a new concept and that other publishers regularly request viewers to disable ad blockers. YouTube plans to send multiple notifications to users, urging them to stop using these tools or alternatively, subscribe to YouTube Premium before disrupting their viewing experience.
YouTube is taking a firm stance against ad blockers, justifying its move by stating that ad spots are crucial for creators to earn for their content and for the platform to remain free. The company’s ad-supported model supports a diverse ecosystem of creators and provides billions of people worldwide access to content for free with ads.
However, YouTube’s increasing experimentation with heavier ad loads in recent years has tested the patience of its users. Last year, the company served up to 10 unskippable clips within a single ad break in another experiment. In May, YouTube announced that 30-second ads were coming to TV platforms.
YouTube Premium, priced at $11.99 per month or $119.99 annually, removes ads from the service and includes other benefits like offline downloads and YouTube Music Premium. Last November, the company announced that it had surpassed 80 million combined subscribers across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music.
The company has stated that ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service and is making efforts to encourage users to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.
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