YouTube's anti-ad blocker strategy: a bold move!

Published: July 03, 2023

min read

Having a presence on YouTube, without any doubt, is pivotal in this quickly evolving digital landscape for businesses to expand their reach and get their products and services in front of their target audiences.

However, the major challenge that the platform faces is that many users on YouTube use ad blockers to enjoy a smoother and less annoying online experience.

Basically, viewers can opt for YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience for about $11.99 per month, and using ad blockers is against its terms of service. But, seemingly, users don’t adhere to the policies promptly.

Thus, to discourage people from using ad blockers, YouTube has recently taken a more aggressive approach by disabling videos for people using ad blockers as part of a new trial.

That is, if users want access to YouTube's extensive video library, they must either disable ad blockers or subscribe to YouTube Premium.

The trial is currently being tested on a limited number of users worldwide who have ad blockers enabled.

The announcement comes after some users noticed a new warning that if YouTube finds repeated use of ad blocking tools, video playback may be interrupted.

YouTube justifies its decision by claiming that all of those advertising spaces are necessary for creators to be reimbursed for their work and for the platform to stay free.

We take turning off playback very seriously, and we will only do so if viewers disregard endless pleas to allow ads on YouTube." If viewers believe they have been incorrectly identified as using an ad blocker, they can provide feedback by hitting on the link in the prompt.

Oluwa Falodun,

Google spokesperson

What does it mean for CMOS?

Although it is undeniable that YouTube has been experimenting with heavier ad loads in recent years, needless to mention its recent announcement on 30-second unskippable ads coming to TV platforms, using ad blockers should be a strict no-no.

Apparently, the platform is hardening its stance against ad blockers to preserve or amplify its ad revenue and steer more people towards its recurring monthly subscription. But in the meantime, this aggressive approach can benefit businesses that lean on YouTube for various purposes.

  • Basically, Ad blockers prevent advertisements from being displayed for users who are using such software or browser extensions. With this new trial being expanded to the general population, YouTube can make certain that ads reach a wider audience, which includes those who were previously shielded from ads. This increased reach can connect businesses with more customers and markets. As a result of this, the marketing teams will be more likely to see enhanced ad visibility.
  • As ad blockers take away businesses opportunities by interfering with ad tracking and analytics, it makes it difficult for marketing teams to collect accurate data on ad performance. However, with YouTube’s new move, businesses will be able to fetch valuable data and access more comprehensive analytics to gain meaningful insights. This, in turn, will help them significantly improve their targeting strategies and optimize their ad campaigns efficiently.
  • YouTube without ad blockers paves the way for businesses, big or small, to compete fairly. That is, the new move will provide an equal chance for all to reach their target audience without any technological barriers in ad delivery. This shifts businesses’ focus more towards the quality and relevance of their ads so as to gain the audience's attention and reap the most of their marketing investments.

Having said that, for a platform like YouTube, striking a balance between ad revenue and user experience is critical. Although the new move can improve the user experience by pushing brands towards relevancy and quality and help businesses in many ways, the blockade for ad blockers will be a huge disappointment for the group of viewers who use ad blockers. This may potentially lead to decreased user engagement and satisfaction on YouTube.

But only time will tell how users will react to this and how YouTube is going to handle such dilemma.

For now, we believe one thing is guaranteed: YouTube's Crackdown on Ad Blockers will undoubtedly streamline the pathway for businesses to effectively reach their target segments and amplify their ROI.


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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