YouTube may start blocking adblockers to encourage users to purchase YouTube Premium

So as long things are in the balance and YouTube does not push intrusive ads to you every 5 or so seconds, it’s okay.

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YouTube is a platform that has been so popular for so long that no one else can compete against it. It is the world’s most used video-sharing site. YouTube has come a long way since its inception in 2005 and when Google bought it. In the early 2010s, it evolved into a social media platform and then later, also announced its Premium subscription, initially called YouTube Red.

YouTube Premium allows users more autonomy in the platform such as ad-free viewing, the ability to download videos to watch offline, and background play. Over the years, the company has been pushy in enticing free users to purchase the subscription. Also, as time passes, more and more ads are shown, and the length in which they are skippable is slowly reduced. Early on when YouTube ads were announced, you could actually skip 10-second ads and there were only 2 ads shown at a time. Now you can have an ad as long as 10 minutes and before you watch a video, there is an ad. Also, in its inception, only those that are monetized can get ads, now everyone else gets ads with YouTube getting the revenue.

Because of the inconvenience of these ads as well as the limitations Free YouTube has, many indie developers have started making workarounds, such as YouTube Vanced. It was a popular alternative where users gained the privileges of YouTube Premium without having to pay. However, last year, Google successfully shut down the platform as the company became more aggressive in forcing users to purchase Premium. Other options users have done is downloading an adblocker which successfully disabled in-video ads and overlay ads. However, adblockers don’t prevent sponsor segments (segways) from occurring. That’s what sponsor skippers are for.

In 2022, there were over 80 million users globally that are subscribed to Premium and Google announced that they would be investing more in the platform by 2023. So it’s no surprise why some users are getting a prompt like the one below.

With this intrusiveness, a Reddit user encountered this prompt which was triggered because they have an ad blocker enabled. An admin from r/youtube confirmed that this is a real change and is an ongoing experiment by the platform. Just like how they “experimented” with removing dislikes even though that move was panned by the community.

While this originated on one post only, if this experiment becomes successful, this will be implemented worldwide sometime in the future.

Throughout the years, it seems like Google has been complacent about ad blockers while in reality, the story is actually the opposite. In 2016, Google started committing mass genocide against ad blockers that were offered in the Play Store and have also announced certain changes to Chrome that would make it harder for developers to make ad blockers or make them less efficient.

Thanks to the nearly invisible “X” at the top right corner, we could speculate that this pop-up is no different than the pop-up ads you see when YouTube is trying to convince users to purchase a premium subscription. So, unlike other websites which force you to turn off ad-blockers completely, this prompt may just be another form of nagware. If that was the case, then there’s no need to worry but you do have to endure the annoyance this may give you.

However, if our speculation is incorrect, then it’s either turn off your ad blocker or pay PHP 159 a month (or PHP 95 a month for students) just so you don’t see ads anymore and avoid this nagging prompt.

Source: Reddit (r/youtube), Android Police