YouTube has started running an experiment where the site is blocking access to videos if it detects an active adblocker running in the user’s browser. The site shows a pop-up stating that “adblockers are not allowed” which was first spotted by a Reddit user earlier this week on Tuesday.
Once at the pop-up, users have the option to either disable their adblocker or subscriber to YouTube Premium. A Youtube spokesperson has since confirmed the experiment. While we don’t know at the moment in what regions Youtube is showing these warnings or if it plans to ban adblockers from accessing the platform completely, the spokesperson did point out that the change is global.
Subscriptions to Youtube Premium and Music have been growing at a rapid pace, crossing the 80 million mark in November 2022 according to a Variety report. The platform has added a whopping 30 million paying subscribers in just over a year, compared to the 50 million number it announced in September 2021.
From the looks of it, Youtube is trying to maintain this growth rate growing forward, and blocking users from using adblockers to watch videos without the increasingly annoying ads might just be another step in that direction. However, we’ll have to wait for Youtube Premium subscription numbers to release later to find out if changes like these have had an effect.
While the change should result in more revenue for Youtube, it has the potential for being outrageous for its free user base. The site has already been called out for adding more frequent, longer and unskippable ads to push viewers towards getting a subscription. A lot of free users used adblockers to get rid of the increasingly annoying ads, but that seems to have come to an end.
In the News: Pixel 7a launched at Google I/O for $499