YouTube Trialing New Measures to Limit Ad Blocker Usage

YouTube, the popular video streaming platform, has reportedly started a new experiment aimed at curbing the use of ad blockers. This move comes as certain users have taken to the popular forum, Reddit, to share their experiences. These users report receiving a warning message after watching three videos on the platform with an ad blocker enabled on their desktop.

The warning message, according to screenshots shared by users, states, “Video player will be blocked after 3 videos.” It then goes on to caution the user about the possible use of an ad blocker, indicating that video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allowed on the ad blocker’s whitelist or the ad blocker is deactivated entirely. Users have also reported the platform restricting ad blockers on mobile devices, further emphasizing the platform's push against these tools.

A statement from YouTube to TechCrunch confirmed that these warning signs were part of an ongoing experimental project. The company stated, “We’re running a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium.” Furthermore, the company warned that in extreme cases, if users refused to whitelist YouTube on their ad blocker, video playback could be disabled for a period of time.

This is not the first time that YouTube has tested new methods to encourage users to switch to their premium subscription plan. In the past, the company has trialed asking users to purchase a paid plan to gain access to 4K video content. In September last year, the platform experimented with showing up to 11 unskippable ads at the start of videos for an uninterrupted viewing experience afterward.

As of last year, YouTube reported having over 80 million subscribers across its Music and Premium offerings. These new experiments signify the platform's ongoing efforts to increase this number and encourage users to support the platform financially, either through viewing ads or subscribing to a paid plan.