YouTube is undertaking a “small experiment” on a global scale, encouraging users to deactivate their ad blockers to prevent restrictions on the number of videos they can view. A Reddit user recently noticed a pop-up message that specifically targets ad blocker users, warning them that their video player would be blocked after watching three videos. The message further elaborates, “It appears you might be using an ad blocker. Video playback will be halted unless YouTube is whitelisted or the ad blocker is turned off.”
YouTube underscores the importance of ads in providing free access to billions of users worldwide. It also offers the alternative of subscribing to YouTube Premium to enjoy an ad-free experience, ensuring that creators continue to earn from these subscriptions.
In response to this warning, YouTube users are left with two options: either disable their ad blocker and allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium to eliminate all ads. YouTube confirmed these alerts are part of an experiment, expressing its preference for viewers to either allow ads on the platform or try out YouTube Premium. The company stated, “We’re conducting a small experiment globally that encourages viewers with ad blockers to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium.”
When asked about the possibility of blocking users who use ad blockers, YouTube indicated that in extreme situations, playback might be temporarily disabled. However, the company reassured that it takes the decision to disable playback very seriously and would only resort to this if viewers consistently ignore requests to allow ads on YouTube. To minimize disruptions during this experiment, viewers using ad blockers are advised to either disable them, allow YouTube ads, or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
YouTube did not disclose the exact number of participants or the regions involved in this experiment. In May, YouTube conducted a similar “small experiment” where it directly blocked access to the platform for users with ad blockers. A YouTube spokesperson noted that the detection of ad blockers is not a new phenomenon, as many publishers often ask viewers to disable ad blockers. In addition, YouTube’s Music and Premium services have seen significant growth, with over 80 million subscribers, adding more than 30 million within a single year, as reported by Variety.
This information was originally reported by Sergiu Gatlan of bleepingcomputer.com.