YouTube, the popular video-sharing website, is currently testing a new strategy to combat the widespread use of ad-blocking software. After watching three videos, the platform is testing a feature that suggests users disable ad-blocking extensions or consider paying for a premium subscription. Several Reddit users have posted screenshots of a popup that appears on their computers, telling them that the video player would be deactivated after three videos if they do not disable their ad blocker or add YouTube to their whitelist.

YouTube’s warning message reads, “It appears that you may be using an ad blocker. Unless YouTube is whitelisted or you disable your ad blocker, you won’t be able to watch videos. Because ad blockers are breaking YouTube’s rules, this action has been taken. There have been reports of consumers seeing the same limitations on their mobile devices.

TechCrunch has confirmed with YouTube that the global trial in which this notice appears is meant to encourage users with ad blockers to either disable them or try YouTube Premium. Google, YouTube’s parent corporation, has said that in extreme instances, users who do not allow YouTube on the ad blocker would have playback disabled.

YouTube has attempted to move its audience toward paid memberships before. The idea of requiring viewers to upgrade to a subscription plan in order to watch 4K videos was briefly attempted in the past. YouTube also tested a feature in September 2018 where viewers were subjected to as many as 11 non-skippable commercials before a video even began.

YouTube has witnessed substantial increase in its subscriber base because to its proactive promotion of its premium packages. Over 80 million people use the platform’s Music and Premium services, as of last year. With YouTube Premium, users may watch videos without interruption from ads, play videos in the background, and save videos for offline viewing. YouTube hopes to increase revenue and attract more paying users by encouraging them to upgrade to a paid subscription.

YouTube’s strategy may have repercussions for marketers and content providers as the platform continues to test techniques to defeat ad blocks. YouTube’s goal in cracking down on ad blockers is to increase the value of advertising on the site by having more people watch its commercials. Advertisers may benefit from this change if their adverts are seen by more people and subsequently result in more clicks and purchases.

However, there could be a range of responses from viewers to the trial that content makers must navigate. Some viewers may find the inclusion of adverts distracting, yet the enhanced visibility of ads could result in better ad revenue for creators. To keep their audience, content creators will need to find a happy medium between financing their work with ads and providing satisfying experiences for their visitors.

First reported by TechCrunch

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is an editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.