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Ad blockers won’t work with YouTube’s new unskippable ad feature

Published Jun 14th, 2024 7:23PM EDT
YouTube CEO Neal Mohan
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for YouTube

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With its new unskippable ad feature, YouTube might end up killing ad blockers once and for all. Currently, the video platform is experimenting with server-side ad injection, which means the ads would appear directly in a video’s stream, bypassing ad blockers.

A Google spokesperson explained the test to Gizmodo: “YouTube is improving its performance and reliability in serving both organic and ad video content. This update may result in suboptimal viewing experiences for viewers with ad blockers installed. Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and we’ve been urging viewers for some time to support their favorite creators and allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.”

While YouTube claims that watching ads helps support users’ favorite creators, a Redditor said they’re getting 90 seconds of unskippable ads “before every video,” which makes the platform pretty much useless.

As a matter of fact, YouTube has been adding as many ads as it can to videos on the platform, as users occasionally have to sit through three ads before a video starts, a few more while watching the content, and a final ad after the video ends.

This is why, instead of using an ad blocker, I decided to pay for YouTube Premium. Not only did I leave the platform’s miserable ad-based experience behind, but I also learned to enjoy other perks, such as listening to a video in the background and downloading as many videos as I want when I’m on a trip with no cellular connection.

YouTube isn’t the only platform focusing on unskippable ads, as even Instagram has started testing some new forms of ad revenue that might see the light of day soon. While YouTube at least offers you a plan to get rid of ads, Meta doesn’t offer the same option yet.

If Google rolls out this new unskippable ad feature, we’ll make sure to report back. For now, it seems only a tiny portion of users are seeing them.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.