YouTube is stepping up its efforts to combat ad blockers on its platform. The company has been sending users with ad blockers enabled more aggressive prompts, instructing them to either allow YouTube ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium. These prompts appear in place of videos or as pop-ups during fullscreen video playback. If the viewer does not comply, YouTube threatens to block video playback after three plays.
This move by YouTube is promising news for advertisers as it could extend the reach of their ads. However, it is important to consider that forcing ads onto viewers who have no interest may not yield great results, as they are less likely to convert into customers.
The prompt that appears to users with ad blockers enabled reads: “Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service. It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video playback is blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled. Ads allow YouTube to be used by billions worldwide at no charge. You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators still get paid from your subscriptions.” YouTube is clearly trying to emphasize the importance of ads in supporting its platform and compensating content creators.
YouTube’s motivation for cracking down on ad blockers is to ensure that its content creators are appropriately compensated for their work. The platform’s ad-supported model supports a diverse ecosystem of creators and provides free access to content for billions of people worldwide. By combating ad blockers, YouTube is protecting the revenue stream that supports its platform and the creators who rely on it.
YouTube Premium, the ad-free subscription service offered by YouTube, costs $13.99 a month in the US. This price was increased by 17% from $11.99 in June. YouTube Premium offers an alternative for viewers who want to enjoy content without ads while still supporting creators through their subscription fees.
Oluwa Falodun, a spokesperson for Google (YouTube’s parent company), stated that the company wants to inform viewers that ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service and make it easier for them to allow ads or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Falodun also mentioned that ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers. YouTube takes disabling playback very seriously and will only disable it if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads. In cases where viewers believe they have been falsely flagged as using an ad blocker, they can provide feedback through the prompt.
Overall, YouTube’s crackdown on ad blockers is an important step in protecting its revenue stream and supporting its content creators. While it may be seen as a positive development for advertisers, it is crucial to consider the potential impact on viewer experience and conversion rates. By providing alternative options like YouTube Premium, the platform aims to give viewers choices that align with their preferences while still supporting creators.