An experiment is being conducted by YouTube wherein certain users are requested to turn off their ad blockers or subscribe to the premium version; otherwise, they will be restricted from accessing videos. A pop-up message stating that “ad blockers are not permitted” will be shown to some users, as reported by a Reddit user this week.
The message reads, “It appears that you might be utilizing an ad blocker. Advertisements enable YouTube to remain cost-free for billions of users globally.”
Once the notification is received, users will be presented with two choices: turn off their ad blocker to enable YouTube ads or contemplate subscribing to YouTube Premium to eliminate all ads. As mentioned in the pop-up, “You can enjoy an ad-free experience with YouTube Premium, and creators can still earn from your subscription.”
According to a YouTube representative, the company is promoting viewers to either subscribe to YouTube Premium or permit ads on the platform via this experiment, which has been verified. “We’re conducting a global pilot project that requests viewers who have enabled ad blockers to allow ads on YouTube or give YouTube Premium a shot,” the spokesperson informed BleepingComputer. “Detecting ad blockers is not a novel practice, and other publishers often request viewers to disable ad blockers.”
It is presently unclear in how many regions YouTube is showcasing these alerts, or whether the company intends to completely block users who are using ad blockers from accessing the platform.
This development follows a Variety report from November 2022, which stated that YouTube’s Music and Premium services had exceeded 80 million subscribers, with over 30 million new subscribers added in just over a year.
Encouraging users to subscribe to YouTube Premium will undoubtedly assist in sustaining this rapid growth rate in membership.
Over the past few years, YouTube has been progressively increasing the length of ads and making some of them unskippable, which may prompt certain viewers to switch to an ad-free experience by subscribing to YouTube Premium on platforms where ad-blocking is not feasible, or by rooting the device (e.g., iOS, some TV OSs).