Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

YouTube’s ad blocker crackdown expands to third-party apps

Published Apr 15th, 2024 8:02PM EDT
YouTube logo
Image: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Late last year, YouTube finally began cracking down on ad blockers. The company encouraged users who blocked ads to upgrade to YouTube Premium and disabled all videos if they refused. This year, the video service is expanding the enforcement of its ad-blocker policy by setting its sights on third-party apps that allow viewers to skirt advertisements.

On Monday, YouTube posted an update on its support site about third-party apps. Viewers who use third-party apps may experience buffering or see the following error message when they try to watch videos: “The following content is not available on this app.”

If an app can block ads on YouTube, it doesn’t align with the Terms of Service. Before now, the company was not doing much to stop these apps from operating, but that’s about to change. As the company explains, blocking ads prevents creators from being rewarded for viewership. The fewer ads YouTube runs, the less it’s able to pay creators.

There isn’t exactly an abundance of ad-blocking YouTube apps available. YouTube Vanced was the most notable third-party app, but the developers shut it down in 2022 after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Google. ReVanced has since taken its place, but it is more of a utility than an app, allowing users to patch first-party apps like YouTube.

Avoiding ads on YouTube is becoming increasingly difficult, and that’s exactly what YouTube is trying to accomplish. Unless you want to scour the internet for solutions that might be useless or defeated by the time you actually find them, the only way to watch YouTube without ads is to pay for YouTube Premium. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it—YouTube just raised the price of Premium from $11.99 to $13.99 per month last summer.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.