Users Are No Longer as Free to Use YouTube Ad-Blockers

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YouTube has escalated its battle against ad-blockers by intentionally slowing down its platform for users employing such tools to get ad-free content.

  • YouTube’s ad strategy became increasingly intrusive, with ads playing before, during, or after videos.
  • In response, users install ad-blockers.
  • YouTube is now intentionally slowing its website down for any user employing ad-blockers.

YouTube is now deliberately slowing down its site for users who have ad-blocking tools enabled.

Ever since its boom in 2006 (Oh my! Where has the time gone?), YouTube ads became the platform’s primary source of revenue. Then in 2015, the company released YouTube Red, offering an ad-free experience throughout the platform… for a monthly fee, of course. YouTube Red became YouTube Premium in 2018. And that’s where we are now.

However, YouTube’s approach to showing ads veered toward predatory. They would play either before, during, or after. Some are skippable, but you must suffer through others. And it’s not like it’s one ad per video. Oh no, sir! At some point, some videos had so many ads that when combined, the length of the ads was longer than the video itself!

I just want to learn how to tie a tie in peace!! We’re already late for the wedding! No more advertising!

Users were frustrated and that’s putting it mildly. Yes, YouTube needs to make money to stay in business. And it’s understandable, why ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube. But surely 10 minutes of ads on a five-minute video is overkill, no?

Anyway, modern problems require modern solutions. Ad-blockers for YouTube! Those nifty lines of code block ads from showing up on YouTube. Yeah, YouTube did NOT like that.

At first, popup messages were notifying users that ad-blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service. You couldn’t continue using YouTube without disabling the ad blockers. But humans are nothing if not stubborn… Unsatisfied, YouTube decided to take a more aggressive approach.

Users report experiencing lag, buffering issues, and glitches when using an ad-blocker. YouTube seems to be imposing artificial timeouts or bandwidth limits to simulate a slow internet connection. Videos struggle to load, previews won’t generate, and fullscreen mode becomes unusable without a refresh.

This leaves users with two options:

  • Disable the ad blocker and enjoy the endless stream of ads.
  • Disable the ad blocker and shell out over $10 for an ad-free experience.

I’m pretty sure you can cook a decent meal for under $10. Now, if I were a capitalist, I’d tell you “People gotta eat,” give you a piece of cake, and light a cigar.

The truth is very simple, however. Painfully so, actually. YouTube has chosen to sacrifice its very users over changing its ad-centric business model. And in this economy, it won’t be long before users are fed up. People will make new ad blockers that YouTube won’t detect before complying.

I wonder what would happen if someone noticed this emerging gap in the market and swooped in to dethrone YouTube.

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