YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

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Dr. Zoidberg
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YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

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YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Google is testing how it can stop users from watching ad-free videos as ad revenue declines.

Google is trying out a new show of force to keep users from watching YouTube videos without ads. Some users are reporting that the company will allow access to just three videos before prompting to either disable ad blockers or otherwise pay Google for the privilege of ad-less viewing.

As first spotted by BleepingComputer, a Reddit user posted a screenshot to the r/youtube subreddit showing the message "Video player will be blocked after 3 videos."

The message further states that YouTube detected the user had an ad blocker installed, and then offered the option to either allow YouTube ads or try YouTube Premium, the $11.99 ad-free subscription service. The service's family plan recently saw a bump in price from $17.99 to $22.99 a month. "Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide," the message reads.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that it was running a "small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium." The spokesperson added that "Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers."

According to the company, users will receive several notifications requesting they allow ads, and in some "extreme cases" when viewers don't comply to repeated requests, YouTube would disable playback on that account.

This is just the latest update to Google's tests trying to restrict ad blockers. Last month, YouTube was already caught cracking down on users trying to avoid watching ads at the beginning of nearly every click. It remains to be seen just how far users can push their ad-blocker use before Google finally cracks down. The company has repeatedly stated that ad blockers violate its terms of service.

Google's parent company Alphabet had reported in its first quarter earnings that ad revenue was down 3.6% from the previous quarter. The company's youtube ads were down $176 million compared to the same time the previous year.

There's been quite a few changes happening at YouTube since Neal Mohan took over the app from longtime CEO Susan Wojcicki. Mohan was a big part of growing Google's monstrous ad business, so he's likely more keen on cracking down on any supposed freeloaders. The largest bastion of user-made video content on the internet also said it would be forcing users to watch unskippable 30-second ads for popular content viewed on TVs.

It's also a time of refocusing throughout Google as its ad empire has taken hits. Earlier this month, YouTube ended its TikTok clone YouTube Stories and said it would dedicate more time to Shorts.

Source: Gizmodo

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ian
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

YouTube without adblockers is as unusable as free to air TV.

I try to use the various YouTube apps from time to time and give up before I've gotten through a second video.

The internet made TV redundant, I hope all the entertainment on the internet doesn't become unusable before some sort of super internet is here.

I watch so little YouTube as it is that if they ruin the small amount I need it, I'll just stop using it. Like my cousin's uncle's former roomates Netflix account.
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by pixel »

I'm a rube that pays for YouTube Premium and uses SmartTubeNext on our Chromecast.

I watch for at least an hour on the days I have time on an Xbox, so there's no good ad block option. I'm fine with paying for YouTube because I get a good ROI. But that's not for everyone.

I also love SMT because it's focused on the user instead of making money. The interface is much improved over the stock and I think having third-party apps for big platforms like YouTube and Reddit is a win for consumers. And that's all even before considering the excellent ad blocker.

This is a tough year for me, all the online corporate platforms are going to shit. I'm glad I've got BG and Xvideos, both are still dedicated to delivering a quality product.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

Now that you mention xvideos... They have NAILED ads! An ad I'm not going to click on COMES up and I close it and do what I CAME to the site for.

They don't try to cut away in the middle of a god damn cream pie to sell me Nord VPN. And if they did, I'd be back down the club X and buying porn on physical media in less than a week.

ads are an acceptable thing, but the problem is everyone goes over the top with them.

Put a 2 second ad for coke in front of a 10 minute video = THATS FINE!

put 2 minutes of ads in front of a 10 minute video and then interrupt the video mid sentence with 2 MORE ads 5 times the volume = FUCK OFF!
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Ocelot »

I watch YouTube at night to help my brain relax before I go to sleep.Getting the same goddamn commercial before every video, or after sometimes one minute in to a five minute video, is so fun.

That is sarcasm.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

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pixel wrote: Sun Jul 02, 2023 12:05 pm I'm a rube that pays for YouTube Premium and uses SmartTubeNext on our Chromecast.

I watch for at least an hour on the days I have time on an Xbox, so there's no good ad block option. I'm fine with paying for YouTube because I get a good ROI. But that's not for everyone.

I also love SMT because it's focused on the user instead of making money. The interface is much improved over the stock and I think having third-party apps for big platforms like YouTube and Reddit is a win for consumers. And that's all even before considering the excellent ad blocker.

This is a tough year for me, all the online corporate platforms are going to shit. I'm glad I've got BG and Xvideos, both are still dedicated to delivering a quality product.
I have Premium as well. When you can split it with others it's pretty cheap, something like AU$3 a month. But way cheaper if you can signup via Turkey

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by melancholy »

I split YouTube Premium with 3 other people. If you can find people to share the cost, it’s totally worth it.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

It's not just you: YouTube is slowing down your PC if you have AdBlock installed by making your CPU sweat, likely as part of its draconian war on ad blockers

YouTube Premium members also appear to be impacted.

In the latest wave of anti-ad blocker measures implemented by YouTube, AdBlock users have been reporting widespread performance issues with the extension enabled.

In a thread posted to the YouTube subreddit over the weekend (thanks, 9to5Google) users noted that having AdBlock enabled caused slow load times and increased CPU usage, as one user writes: "This messes up the resources on the computer as a whole. It just kills chrome it seems."

I decided to test this myself, and I noticed that having YouTube open with AdBlock increased my rig's CPU usage by around 17%. While using AdBlock or similar programs is against the website's terms of service, AdBlock is also a massively popular extension. On the Chrome web store it boasts 60 million users.

While you do agree to YouTube's terms of service upon using the site, there's a massive difference between simply blocking AdBlock users and causing increased CPU usage. From what I could see the increase was pretty consistent—so not a dangerous spike—but lower-end laptops mainly used for browsing could start having heat problems. At best it's inconvenient and annoying. It should be noted that this CPU-spiking (if deliberate) isn't something YouTube informs AdBlock users of either.

This has led to troubleshooting paranoia, as sudden and unexplained performance dips can be a sign of hardware problems. User JotaroKujoxXx says they were "wondering why my laptop ran like a fucking jet for the last few days", while another commenter replies: "Yeah I've been deleting shit randomly thinking it was my storage space problem."

The slow-down also appears to be impacting users who are subscribed to YouTube Premium while using AdBlocker for other websites, which is a problem—seeing as a subscription is a way to avoid ads without violating ToS. Our Guides Writer Sarah James tested the extension with Premium, and noted an increase of about 15-18%. Even if you believe YouTube has a right to employ anti-AdBlock strategies, the fact it's impacting paying customers is a concern.

I've reached out to YouTube for comment—which it hasn't publicly provided at the time of writing. However, TheVerge reported a five-second loading delay on other browsers running ad blockers back in November of last year, and the company's statements create a solid M.O for this kind of thing. The report states that YouTube's communications manager Christopher Lawton "said that users will keep seeing issues like this as YouTube’s ad-blocker detection methods improve."

It's always possible that something else is at play here—some behind-the-curtain hiccups in the code from updates on either YouTube or AdBlock's end. Still, if deliberate, it represents a rather draconian step in preventing ad blocker users from accessing the platform. It's also concerning that it tanks resources in ways that can cause even paying customers to spend time troubleshooting their PC—ToS violations or no.

Source: PC Gamer

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

Chrome in general has been performing like shit lately. Desktop and mobile. And that's without even mentioning YouTube which I'm using even less than I always have. lucky if I watch 30 minutes of YouTube a week now.

CPU spikes are just the new RAM hogging on desktop and on mobile it's always fucking micro freezing on even simple websites. (With no plug ins on mobile)

I haven't looked into what to do about mobile yet, but on the computers I've had a trial or 2.
Identical hardware and software on the same O/S install but with Opera instead and chrome removed was a much more pleasant experience.

I suppose if they're dead set on making YouTube entirely worthless I'll have to look into a site to download new Ashens, Todd in the Shadows, Let's Game it Out and Helluva Boss videos. Those are the only things I've watched on YouTube in nearly 4 months.

Back in the early days I used a site to directly download videos, but couldn't be bothered keeping up with saving videos. (How I regret not saving ALL of the JoleGSI Simpsons songs now) If it's going to be useless very soon, I'd still like to watch those very few things when they have new videos.
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Dr. Zoidberg
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

You can use Jdownloader or other similar programs to easily download a lot of YT videos.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Calavera »

I use Firefox and I've been wondering what the heck has been going on. Both my PC and the PC in the living room have been running super slow. I would have never even thought that it was Youtube itself causing the problem! The living room computer is pretty much only used for Youtube and it was running so shitty and slow. On my computer I commonly have several youtube tabs open in the background and it seems to be effecting other tabs as well, mainly Facebook. Facebook gets so slow that when I try to type a comment it takes like 3-5 seconds after a press a key for it to show up on screen. Unless Facebook itself is also doing some kind of ad-blocker bullshit.

This is fucking crazy! I'm glad I know the reason now because I was really confused as to what was going on. I thought maybe I'd gotten some kind of virus. How is it even legal for them to do this? Even if it isn't enough to cause overheating problems it is still an increase in energy use for no reason. Even if it is just a few watts, across millions of computers that adds up.

I will just stop watching Youtube before I watch it without an ad-blocker. It is unwatchable without one imo. I didn't realize just how bad it was until I tried using the Youtube app on my TV. There was an ad like every few minutes! It was insane. I watch a lot of Youtube but seriously without the ad blocker I seriously will stop watching it and find something else. One of the many reasons is I usually fall asleep with youtube playing. With ads you just know they will come on at 2x the volume the video is at.

I wouldn't mind a few ads if they weren't so intrusive. Back in the day when it was just a little bar that would come up at the bottom of the video and ads on the sidebar that wasn't that bad. But now it is several minutes of ads before a 45 second video! And sure you can skip them after a few seconds but that still takes up too much time when it is a short video.

*edit from what I've read it is Adblock that is causing it. If you disable Adblock and use Ublock the slowdown doesn't happen. I was almost sure I had Ublock on my PC but it appears I don't. That is odd as I was almost positive I had both Adblock and Ublock. I do have several blocker/privacy add-ons

Ad-block Plus, Decentraleyes,DuckDuck Go Privacy Essentials,Privacy Badger.

I've added Ublock and disabled ABP so we'll see how that goes.
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

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Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:55 pm You can use Jdownloader or other similar programs to easily download a lot of YT videos.
I used to use jdownloader so much, I'm surprised I dont use it more. For youtube (and other sites) I've been using a combination of yt-dlp or ytdlp-interface Interface is good if you can't be assed with the commandline and just want to copy paste

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Dr. Zoidberg »

I still download a lot of stuff off YT with Jdownloader, especially all the old wrestling that gets uploaded.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

Skynet wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 9:51 pm
Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:55 pm You can use Jdownloader or other similar programs to easily download a lot of YT videos.
I used to use jdownloader so much, I'm surprised I dont use it more. For youtube (and other sites) I've been using a combination of yt-dlp or ytdlp-interface Interface is good if you can't be assed with the commandline and just want to copy paste
The one you mentioned Zoidberg rings a bell, I'm sure I have used that in the past, but that one Skynet has been using looks great. I'll give both a go next time one of my favourites uploads something. Cheers!
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

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ian wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 11:57 pm
Skynet wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 9:51 pm
Dr. Zoidberg wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:55 pm You can use Jdownloader or other similar programs to easily download a lot of YT videos.
I used to use jdownloader so much, I'm surprised I dont use it more. For youtube (and other sites) I've been using a combination of yt-dlp or ytdlp-interface Interface is good if you can't be assed with the commandline and just want to copy paste
The one you mentioned Zoidberg rings a bell, I'm sure I have used that in the past, but that one Skynet has been using looks great. I'll give both a go next time one of my favourites uploads something. Cheers!
The good thing about ytdlp is it can be used for *ahem* other streaming sites. But if you want to download an entire YT playlist, just pop it into ytdlp and it will grab it

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

I'm not even subscribed to any streaming at all at the moment, but doing entire playlists does sound useful.

Will keep in mind it can do streaming when I sign up for one again.
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by pixel »

I think skynet is referring to those other other streaming sites :heyhey:

Netflix and the like have DRM preventing something like ytdlp from working.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by pixel »

I wish I would've been archiving my YouTube habits. My biggest regret is how disposable the platform is. My watch later and favorites playlist have a bunch of delisted videos that I won't be getting back. And then I think about the algorithm. I've had channels disappear out of my suggested videos and I have to subscribe to anything mildly interesting to me. If I don't have a record of which channels I watch, I feel like good stuff gets buried by other crap.

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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by ian »

Other other streaming sites??

OH OHHHHHHH. I haven't downloaded that sort of stuff in like a decade, there will never be problems finding that sort of content.

But if YouTube dies tomorrow, how will I ever watch those hilarious @CaptainsWorkspace videos again?
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Re: YouTube Threatens to Cut Off Ad Blocker Users After Just Three Ad-less Vids

Post by Hawq »

any time it gives me greif about an add blocker in a day or 2 the add block plugin gets updated to get round it anyway

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