YouTube reportedly starts preventing some users from blocking ads
YouTube could stop you from blocking adverts on its service as part of a contentious change in the making.
The platform has reportedly started forcing some users with ad blockers to allow ads on the site to watch videos.
A YouTube employee has confirmed that the ban on ad blockers is part of an experiment, according to the YouTube forum on Reddit.
Ad blockers are tools that essentially hide or remove ads from websites. Some of them come bundled inside other software, such as VPNs that cloak your internet activity or privacy-oriented web browsers.
After years of turning a blind eye to the tools, it appears that YouTube has wised up to them. As part of the test, the YouTube.com site is apparently showing some users a pop-up warning them that “ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube”.
These users are given the option to allow YouTube ads or to switch to YouTube Premium if they want to continue watching videos. The latter is YouTube’s subscription service that nixes ads altogether for the price of £11.99 per month.
The move is likely to divide users of the video platform. The fact is that ads are the lifeblood of free online services, including publishers and social media sites. The same goes for YouTube, which relies on ad revenue to keep its content-packed servers running, and to reimburse its horde of creators.
However, others will simply be averse to adverts on the web and will continue to seek ways to block them.
This camp will likely point to the abundance of ads online as intrusive eyesores. In the case of YouTube, these ads are usually shown before a video starts, and during the course of a clip. The platform has also tested out showing up to 10 unskippable ads during longer videos, much to the chagrin of viewers.
How to block ads on YouTube
Until the current experiment becomes a mainstay, there’s nothing stopping you from blocking ads on YouTube.
To do so, you can use an ad blocker for smartphones such as AdLock or AdBlock. Some of these tools even let you allow ads on your favourite channels, while blocking others. In the case of AdBlock, you’ll have to pay £4.01 per month to use the software.
However, an easier option could be to use a web browser with an ad block setting, such as Brave.
While VPNs aren’t primarily built to block ads on YouTube, some do pack built-in adblocking software, such as NordVPN.
For those that don’t mind shelling out, there’s always YouTube Premium. This may also be the most convenient option for those who are less tech-savvy, or don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching to a new browser.