YouTube renews war on adblockers by testing out a 3 video limit

(Image credit: YouTube)

YouTube's been tinkering with its ads again. In its latest experiment, you'll be put on a countdown of three videos if an adblock's detected, after which you'll be forced to either whitelist the site or do something else with your time. 

In a thread on the YouTube subreddit, user Reddit_n_Me posted a screenshot of an ominous warning that states that the "Video player will be blocked after three videos", with a helpful 1-2-3 diagram for the visual learners among us. It then reminds you that ads help YouTube remain free for users, and that you can shell out for premium to avoid them.

YouTube cracking down on if you're not paying them to block the ads, it hurts me, and hurt you. from r/youtube

This was then confirmed by The Verge when they spoke to YouTube last week, who said its been running: "a small experiment globally that urges viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium [...] Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers." 

"We take disabling playback very seriously, and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube."

This follows a recent flood of ads on the platform which are ticking a lot of people off. Even last year we saw other "experiments" which caused between five to ten unskippable ads in a row.

While it's well within their rights as a company, it's not hard to see where people are coming from: while ads are inevitable in a free and open internet, they're often really annoying. I've even had audio ads play on YouTube in the past, forcing me to minimise the video to swat them.

YouTube's been a huge part of the gaming ecosystem for nearly two decades, but its creators are still grappling with frustrating systems like annoying profanity limitations. They're probably just as sick of the advertisement politics on the platform as everyone else is. It's no wonder most of them have a Patreon, Twitch, or are posting on websites like Nebula, which offers a sub that's almost one fourth the cost of YouTube Premium. I doubt this'll do much to improve YouTube's goodwill with its creators, even if it is technically for their benefit.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.