YouTube warns it might make your viewing experience worse if you don’t turn off your ad-blocker

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  • A YouTube spokesperson said that using ad blockers could lead to a “suboptimal viewing” experience.
  • Some users have also reported delays if they aren’t on Google Chrome as their browser.
  • Users may be unable to watch videos unless they disable their ad blockers or buy YouTube Premium.

YouTube’s battle with ad blockers is heating up. The platform is now warning loud and clear that using ad blockers could put a damper on your viewing experience in its broader effort to boost ad revenue and subscriptions to its paid tier. 

YouTube said in a statement to Business Insider that it is encouraging viewers to forgo ad blockers and either allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium, which would get rid of ads entirely. Furthermore, those who do use ad blockers might have a less-than-stellar watching experience. 

“To support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favorite content on YouTube, we’ve launched an effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using.” 

The portion of YouTube’s statement mentioning “regardless of the browser” is an apparent response to complaints from some people saying on social media that they experienced a five-second delay on YouTube if they used browsers other than Google Chrome, the Android-focused news website Android Authority reported. Reddit users say they’ve experienced this delay while using Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. However, the issue hasn’t been consistently replicated, according to Android Authority.

YouTube has lately begun to fight more harshly against ad blockers. In June 2023, it began preventing users with ad blockers turned on from watching videos and reportedly experimented with pop-up warnings. If users ignore these warnings for three videos, they’ll no longer be allowed to watch videos until they turn off the ad blockers, according to Android Authority

More recently, X users began complaining and sharing screenshots of YouTube pop-ups warning them to not use ad blockers. They also said that YouTube wouldn’t play a video until the ad blocker was disabled or the user purchased a YouTube Premium subscription, which starts at $13.99 a month

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