The best part about one company revolutionising video-sharing on the internet is that it gets the say in how awful that experience can be. After beginning to roll out a healthy nudge to turn off ad blockers or subscribe to the platform’s ad-free Premium offering, YouTube is now forcing users’ hands.
As users continue to trawl the depths of YouTube, they will now be greeted with a pop-up warning them to disable their ad blocker saying “video playback is blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled.” This notification began popping up for users across the platform earlier this month, but it was as simple as shrugging it off by closing out the message. Shortly thereafter, YouTube forced users to acknowledge the message but still allowed them to exit out of it after a brief timer elapsed. Now, YouTube is requiring users to take action in the platform’s favour in order to circumvent the pop-up.
YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton told The Verge Tuesday that using an ad blocker is actually against the platform’s terms of service. He also told the outlet that “ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favorite content on YouTube.”
This past May, Redditors spotted YouTube toying with forcing its users to disable their ad blockers in order to watch videos, with the alternative being a subscription to YouTube Premium. Around the same time, the company reported its third straight quarterly decline in ad revenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.
YouTube altered its experiment to shut off video browsing for users with an ad blocker after just three videos in June. According to Lawton’s statements to The Verge, this was a “small experiment globally.” All the while, YouTube has done nothing but jam more ads onto its website in a feverish bid to cash out, beginning with unskippable 30-second ads on the platform’s TV app.
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