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YouTube is aggressively cracking down on ad-blockers

YouTube has declared war on ad blockers, with the platform increasing its enforcement against third-party apps.

youtube logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

YouTube has declared war on ad blockers. The platform has been gradually ramping up its enforcement against third-party apps, specifically ad blockers.

YouTube’s justification for this crackdown is as transparent as a glass of water: ads are essential for the platform’s business model. Without them, creators wouldn’t get paid, and without creators, there would be no YouTube.

In the company’s own words, via an announcement on the company’s help forum:

Hi everyone, 
 
We’re strengthening our enforcement on third-party apps that violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, specifically ad-blocking apps. 
 
Viewers who are using these third-party apps may experience buffering issues or see the error “The following content is not available on this app” when trying to watch a video. We want to emphasize that our terms don’t allow third-party apps to turn off ads because that prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and Ads on YouTube help support creators and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service. We also understand that some people prefer an entirely ad-free experience, which is why we offer YouTube Premium.
 
We only allow third-party apps to use our API when they follow our API Services Terms of Service, and when we find an app that violates these terms, we will take appropriate action to protect our platform, creators, and viewers.

It’s a classic case of “if the YouTube ads are free, you are the product,” YouTube is determined to keep reminding users of that fact. But is this aggressive stance actually effective?

Fun Fact: According to Statista, YouTube made around 31.4 billion dollars in advertising revenue in 2023, compared to 29.2 billion dollars in advertising revenue the previous year.

Some sources suggest that YouTube’s crackdown has had minimal impact, with ad blocker installs remaining consistently lower than the total number of daily YouTube users.

Others argue that the crackdown is simply driving users towards premium subscriptions as a workaround.

YouTube updates enforcement on third-party ad-blocking apps.
Image: KnowTechie

From YouTube’s perspective, any reduction in ad revenue is a threat to its bottom line. The platform has been [increasing its advertising revenue significantly over the past few years, and any slowdown could be concerning.

However, the harsh reality is that ad blockers are becoming increasingly popular, and YouTube’s heavy-handed approach may just drive more users to seek out ways to bypass its restrictions.

So, is YouTube’s crackdown a smart business decision or a desperate act of panic? It’s hard to say.

The platform certainly has a right to protect its revenue streams, but the aggressive tactics and potential backfiring could damage its reputation among users.

Thankfully for YouTube, the video streaming platform gets a constant stream of new kids who aren’t hip to the game, so they essentially have a free pass, and the cycle repeats itself.

Are you team adblocker, or are you on the side of a billion-dollar company? Let us know in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jose ruiz romero inez

    April 24, 2024 at 6:42 am

    holle nice meet you so longimer question so youtube channels get ban students and gets ready gets ban right out no nasty no stinky no forting and poop dark.and so no pravert and so gets ready block videos and so and pictures and so gets trash please and thank you o ok guys you losting your jobs and so please and stop everyone and so bans all youtubes no sexys no woman and no kess no hugs and no countfeel and so no pull down o ok guys

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