Last May, YouTube sent out notifications warning a select few users to disable ad blockers; otherwise, they’d lose the ability to watch videos on the platform. Now, YouTube has confirmed to The Verge that it’s doing a “small global experiment” to crack down on ad blockers. And it seems like its global experiment is working.
Ad-blocking companies are affected
According to a report by Wired, ad-blocking companies experienced a surge of install and uninstalls of their services. Ghostery, for instance, was installed and uninstalled up to five times more than their usual number. Ninety percent of users who uninstalled the tool cited YouTube as the reason. However, despite the number of uninstalls in Chrome, the ad blocker tool experienced a thirty percent surge of installs in Microsoft Edge.
AdGuard, another ad blocker tool, recorded at least 11,000 uninstalls in a day since the crackdown, with a peak of 52,000 uninstalls, compared to the normal number of 6,000. However, its paid version reached up to 60,000 installations on October 18 and 27 as users found out it’s not affected by the ad blockers experiment on YouTube.
YouTube Premium is increasing its subscription
As of now, if users don’t want to go through the trouble of finding an ad blocker that works on YouTube, they have to pay for the Premium subscription. However, to have an ad-free experience, users have to pay $14 per month. YouTube increased the subscription from $12, which discourages more users from paying for the service.
Possible future of this crackdown
As developers of ad blocking tools adapt, YouTube is expected to invest more time and resources into this ad block war. As more resources are spent, the company could end up like Facebook in 2016 as AdBlock Plus was able to find a workaround the ads.