Youtube is tightening its crackdown on users who use an adblocker on a trial basis. In the future, they could be locked out after watching three videos.
Youtube apparently wants to take tougher action against adblocker users. The video platform is currently testing locking out ad blockers after three videos have been watched. Those affected will then be shown a panel that allows them to subscribe to Youtube Premium, Youtube's paid ad-free subscription tier.
This is a "small experiment," Youtube told the U.S. magazine Bleeping Computer. A small number of people worldwide have been selected to test the impact of the restrictions, according to the report. Google has repeatedly tested restrictions on free viewing of Youtube. There is no guarantee that these methods will ultimately be widely implemented.
"It looks like you are using an ad blocker," Youtube's new test warning reads. "Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is on the exceptions list or the ad blocker is disabled." Users then have the option of disabling their adblocker or subscribing to Youtube Premium. Youtube Premium costs 12 euros a month for individuals.
Youtube's test lab
It was only in May that Youtube began displaying a warning notice to ad blocker users in the United States. In it, Youtube writes that advertising is necessary to keep the service free for billions of users. Youtube already refers to the paid premium subscription that keeps the service ad-free.
However, this warning can simply be clicked away, and there are no consequences. The new method would change that. According to Bleeping Computer, Google had already tested the possibility of directly blocking out adblocker users - i.e. without a "grace period" after several videos. Accordingly, the procedure now being tested would represent a middle ground, which is nevertheless likely to annoy adblocker users. The first people affected have already spoken out in the social media.
Youtube regularly tests new ways to make its premium subscription more palatable to customers - in the past, for example, 4K videos were offered exclusively to premium users as a test. Google also wants to offer paying customers a better bit rate for FullHD videos.