YouTube tests fighting ad blockers with 3-strike rule

Using an ad blocker to get rid of those pesky YouTube ads? We’ve got bad news for you.

YouTube is currently running a test in which it blocks video viewing for people using ad blockers.

The test includes a pop-up menu that emerges if you’re running an ad blocker, telling you that your video player will be “blocked after three videos.”

“It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video Playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled,” the pop-up says. It then offers the users to try YouTube’s paid tier, YouTube Premium, and there’s also an option to “report issue” if you’re not, in fact, using an ad blocker.

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Our source didn’t share any details on what type of ad blocker they were using.

YouTube confirmed the test saying that it’s running “a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium.”

The company says that it takes “disabling playback very seriously,” and that it will only disable playback for users who “ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube.”

YouTube ads, which the company claims supports “a diverse ecosystem of creators, and provides billions of people globally access for free,” have become more of a nuisance in recent years, with ads becoming more frequent and longer (an experiment last year served up to 10 unskippable ads(opens in a new tab) at once to some users).

On the flip side, at $11.99 per month, YouTube Premium(opens in a new tab) is one of the pricier content plans out there (for comparison, Spotify and Netflix Basic both cost $9.99 per month), which is likely the reason why some users opt for using ad blockers to get rid of YouTube ads. The company maintains that using ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and if this recent experiment is any indication, it will start enforcing those rules more vigilantly soon.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


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