YouTube Tests Limiting Ad Blocker Usage Globally

This experiment is part of a broader strategy by YouTube to encourage users to subscribe to its paid service, YouTube Premium.

has begun a global experiment to curb the use of ad blockers. It is now warning some users that their video playback will be limited to three videos if they persist in using ad blockers.

Video Player Will Be Blocked After 3 Videos

The experiment, which YouTube describes as a “small experiment globally” to Bleeping Computer is aimed at encouraging viewers using ad blockers to either allow ads on YouTube or switch to YouTube Premium. Users have reported seeing a warning message stating, “Video player will be blocked after 3 videos,” followed by, “It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is allowlisted or the ad blocker is disabled.”

YouTube has made it clear that it will only block video playback in “extreme cases” where users continue to use ad blockers despite repeated warnings. The company has emphasized that it takes the disabling of playback very seriously and will only resort to this measure if viewers consistently ignore requests to allow ads on YouTube.

Ad-Earnings Growth and YouTube Premium

This experiment is part of a broader strategy by YouTube to encourage users to subscribe to its premium service, YouTube Premium. This service offers an ad-free experience and has been gaining popularity, with the number of subscribers recently surpassing 80 million.

YouTube is the biggest online video platform worldwide, with over 2.5 billion monthly active users as of January 2023. The platform has grown significantly since its launch in 2005 and its acquisition by a year later, adding new features such as YouTube Shorts, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium.

Revenue from Ads and Premium Subscribers

YouTube's global advertising revenues nearly doubled from 2018 to 2022, but at a slower pace than the viewer count. According to Statista, YouTube's global advertising revenues amounted to approximately 28.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, 29.24 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and 30.12 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.
 
According to Google's reports, YouTube Premium had around 80 million paid subscribers as of Q3 2022, up from just 30 million in Q3 2020. This represents a growth rate of 66.7%, which is higher than the growth rate of both viewer count and ad-revenue.