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YouTube is going to war with ad-blockers

There are three types of YouTube users; those who brag about ad-blockers, those who have to put up with more ads as a direct result, and those who say ‘sod it’ and just pay up for YouTube Premium, even though the price of that is going up as a result of the ad-blockers too.

The only people who seemingly benefit from all of this are the people who use ad blockers. However, the gig may be up. YouTube has said it is embarking upon “a global effort” to stamp out the practice, which causes a ton of collateral damage on YouTube and other areas of the web, where it’s content creators who tend to suffer.

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YouTube’s communications manager Christopher Lawton tells The Verge that initial tests on a small section of users that blocked video playback for people using ad-blockers will now be the norm. Since June, some users have spied a message advising them that ad-blockers violate YouTube’s terms of service.

The message informed offenders: “It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide. You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid from your subscription.”

In his statement today Lawton added that: “ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favourite content on YouTube.”

For its part, YouTube has been playing with the format of advertisements in order to make them a little more tolerable in certain scenarios. For example, on its TV apps, YouTube is planning on having longer and sparser breaks that more closely resemble the television experience people are used to.

Google said last month: “Viewers expect a different ad experience depending on the content they are watching. When it comes to long-form content on TV screens, 79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a video,” Google says in a blog post.”

Considering the price of YouTube Premium – which does include YouTube Music and other benefits beyond ad-free clips – is going up to $13.99 in the United States, we’d hope that successful efforts to block ad-blockers are followed by a re-evaluation of that high price.

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