• It is believed that YouTube has been slowing down its site for viewers using ad-blockers.
  • This is part of the strategy against declining ad revenue.
  • YouTube is also offering a paid service to remove ads legally.

YouTube and ad blockers just don’t get along. The largest video platform site has deliberately slowed its speed for viewers who use ad blockers. This strategy of slowing down the platform started last year is reportedly reaching more users now. Many YouTube users are experiencing slower loading times. They have to either turn off their ad blockers or pay the premium plan to avoid this.

YouTube’s reaction against ad blockers is a result of declining revenue. The platform heavily relies on ad revenue, but when people block ads, it significantly impacts their income. YouTube views ad blocking as a violation of its terms of service. So, for users who want to enjoy the content ad-free, the platform offers them its paid premium service, which also generates significant revenue.

YouTube slows down

Also Read: In A Privacy Revolution, Google Initiates Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies

YouTube’s Strategy

To combat the increasing frequency of ads on YouTube, people have employed the use of ad blockers for years. Of course, pre-video ads are a huge source of income for the service, and the only way to avoid them without the use of a third-party application is to pay YouTube directly for premium.

Despite the availability of a paid YouTube subscription that removes bothersome ads, many users remain reluctant to switch and continue relying on third-party ad blockers. In response, YouTube has implemented two strategies to discourage ad-blocking software:

The First Method

It involves a pop-up message that reads, “Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service.” Users are then instructed to disable their ad blocker before proceeding to watch any videos. The user is not allowed to continue watching without doing so. However, this warning alone has proven ineffective for many users, prompting YouTube to implement a second strategy.

The Second Method

This approach involves intentionally slowing down the entire site’s functionality when an ad blocker is detected, labelling the experience as “suboptimal viewing.” Several Reddit users have also reported this sudden slowness and unresponsiveness on YouTube. They described how the platform was lagging and unresponsive out of the blue. It was then discovered that disabling any active ad blocker instantly restored the site’s normal functionality.

YouTube ad blocker Premium

What Blocks Ad Blocker?

This is mostly due to an artificial timeout written within YouTube’s code to act as a laggy internet connection. While this action taken by YouTube isn’t brand-new, more users are starting to see the tactic in use. Videos stall while loading, previews refuse to appear, and fullscreen mode becomes unusable without a refresh.

This makes YouTube difficult to use for viewers who have ad blockers, forcing them to choose between disabling the ad blocker and tolerating commercials or opting for a Premium subscription for an ad-free experience. For most users, neither option is ideal, and YouTube’s methods of dissuading users from using ad blockers are controversial.

YouTube Premium

In India, YouTube provides its premium version, YouTube Premium, with various subscription plans tailored to different user needs.

  • The standard monthly plan is priced at Rs. 129, offering an ad-free experience and background playback.
  • For families, the Family Premium plan is available at Rs. 189 per month, allowing up to five family members to share a joint account.
  • Users can also opt for the yearly plan at Rs. 1159, providing a cost-effective option for an extended subscription period.
  • Students can access YouTube Premium at a discounted rate of Rs 79 per month, but they need to undergo annual verification.
  • Additionally, there is a 3-month plan priced at Rs 399, catering to users who prefer a shorter subscription duration.

Overall, YouTube Premium aims to enhance the user experience by offering an ad-free environment and additional features based on individual preferences and requirements. But not everyone is willing to shell out Rs 129 per month to skip long stretches of unskippable ads, nor do they wish to endure them. This leaves the viewers feeling constrained and dissatisfied.

YouTube Premium

Did YouTube Slow Down On Purpose?

While most people believe this is YouTube’s strategy, a new report says YouTube didn’t actually have anything to do with the platform slowing down and definitely nothing linked to using ad blockers. YouTube has commented on these allegations and assured that its efforts to stop the use of ad blockers aren’t that aggressive yet and the platform slowing down is not related to its ad blocker detection efforts.

Then what is causing this problem? Turns out, the issue is because of ad blockers, notably, the AdBlock and AdBlock Plus tools. A developer from another ad blocker platform uBlock Origin pointed out that the issue was because of a bug in the AdBlock ad blockers. Raymond Hill shared the details about the bug that affected the AdBlock 5.17 version and AdBlock Plus 3.22 version that people are using on their web browsers to block ads.

He also explained that the bug was only causing issues for the AdBlock tools and their own uBlock Origin ad blocker is not affected, which means YouTube might be working normally for these users. The ad blockers have been updated with a patch which should fix the slowdown issue for users. YouTube claims that blocking ads restricts its ability to pay the content creators and that’s why it wants people to stop using these tools and or simply pay for the Premium service that offers ad-free content.

We have also seen YouTube come with a three-strike rule for videos, giving people enough time to stop using ad blocker and let ads show for all videos on their profile as long as they wish to use YouTube for free. The message clearly said the video playback will be blocked unless you whitelist YouTube from the ad blocker app/extension or disable the feature completely.

Well, we hope the platform and users find a middle ground for this issue as currently, both are suffering.