YouTube could be about to launch a widespread crackdown on folks using ad blockers.
Reports emerged last month that YouTube was deploying pop-ups to warn against the use of ad-blocking tools. But now it’s taking the action one step further.
A revised notice says that an ad blocker has been detected, but now warns that the video player will stop functioning after three video streams unless the user adjusts the ad blocker’s settings to allow YouTube ads, or disables the ad blocker entirely.
Alternatively, YouTube says, users can go ad-free by joining YouTube Premium, which costs $12 per month or $120 per year.
In a widely reported statement, YouTube confirmed that it’s carrying out a “small experiment globally” that prompts users to adjust their ad blocker’s settings or sign up for the streaming site’s premium tier.
Anyone who receives the notice but isn’t using an ad blocker should click on the “report issue” link at the bottom.
In-stream ads are at the heart of YouTube’s operation. Indeed, its notice also says that “ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide.”
Android Authority, which first reported what could be the beginning of a widespread crackdown on those using ad blockers, noted how the Google-owned company forced the closure of popular third-party app YouTube Vanced last year.
YouTube Vanced functioned as a modified version of the actual YouTube app, offering features that included ad-free playback. The company behind the app was sent a cease-and-desist letter that forced it to stop developing and distributing the software.
YouTube is always tweaking the way it presents ads, including the length and the ability, or not, to skip. Last month, it announced it was launching unskippable TV ads that run for 30 seconds, double the usual length. The ads are most likely to appear with content that’s proved popular on the platform.
Pointypress has reached to YouTube out for more information on its attempt to tackle ad blocking and we will update this article when we hear back.