YouTube has been ramping up its efforts to persuade viewers to disable their ad blockers or sign up for its premium service.
Back in May, it was reported that YouTube was testing blocking ad blockers. Subsequently, in June, YouTube tested allowing ad blockers to run for three videos, after which playback becomes temporarily unavailable.
A new version of the same test, which rolled out sometime in August, displayed a 30-second timer. While the timer is running, users have the option to ‘Allow YouTube Ads’ or ‘Try YouTube Premium.’
The experiment expanded globally earlier in November, and the platform and its users are now facing the repercussions. Some users have reported experiencing longer loading times on YouTube with browsers like Microsoft Edge and Firefox. When these users click on a YouTube video, they have to wait for about five seconds. During this time, their screen goes blank before the page loads. However, when they switch to Chrome, the videos load instantly.
Users found a snippet of code in YouTube’s source that suggests that the delays are caused by the platform’s anti-adblocker mechanism.
In a statement given to Android Authority, Google confirmed that its anti-ad-blocker is what is causing longer wait times.
“To support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favourite content on YouTube, we’ve launched an effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using,” said YouTube.
In Canada, an individual membership for YouTube Premium is available for $12.99 each month. Alternatively, YouTube offers its Family Plan for $22.99/month. This gives the subscriber and up to five family members in the same household access to all Premium perks.