YouTube has just disclosed intentional delays in loading videos for users employing ad-blockers, signaling a strategic effort to combat resistance from those persistently using such tools, irrespective of their browser choice.
Responding to claims that YouTube deliberately introduces delays on non-Chrome browsers, the platform clarified that the intentional delay is not browser-dependent but rather a calculated tactic aimed at users with ad-blockers.
Viewers are urged to enable ads on YouTube or opt for an ad-free experience through YouTube Premium.
While initially prompting specific users to disable ad-blockers or subscribe to YouTube Premium, the latest efforts now target all users with ad-blockers, compelling them to whitelist or disable the tool.
To intensify its campaign, YouTube has implemented pop-up notifications that restrict video playback for ad-blocker users until they whitelist or disable the tool.
This crackdown comes as YouTube observed a decline in ad revenue over the past three quarters.
The platform has experimented with limiting video access for ad-blockers until now but has now also made significant adjustments to ad delivery, introducing unskippable 30-second TV app ads and longer but less frequent ad breaks.
YouTube's strategy aims to promote YouTube Premium, offering an ad-free experience for $13.99 per month. However, recent changes, including a price hike and the discontinuation of Premium Lite, may impact its appeal to some users.