YouTube Reportedly Testing New Method to Disrupt Ad Blockers Amid Ongoing Crackdown

YouTube is reportedly developing another way to crack down on third-party ad blockers, as the video streaming platform looks to increase revenue from users who don’t have a YouTube Premium subscription. It is speculated that this change may combine the video and ad streams, preventing popular browser plugins from blocking these ads from being displayed. This development comes weeks after users reported about videos automatically skipping to the end when using third-party ad blockers on the Alphabet-owned video streaming service.

YouTube reportedly combining video and ad streams

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), SponsorBlock a plugin that skips past sponsored sections of YouTube videos claims that YouTube is merging ads directly to the video stream. At present, videos and ads are said to be two separate elements. The player automatically pauses the video to display the ads at specified timestamps.

With this change, the video stream is a continuous one, meaning third-party ad blockers may not be able to block them anymore, according to SponsorBlock. The open-source browser extension said that it may not be able to function properly if server-side ads are introduced, as “all timestamps are offset by the ad times.”

YouTube’s crackdown on ad blockers continues

Users with ad blockers enabled reported last month that they were facing another issue – videos have started to automatically skip to the end. In the YouTube subreddit, a user reported that they were unable to watch videos when an ad blocker is turned on. The user also allegedly tried to skip to certain sections of the video, but it appears to fast-forward to the end automatically.

In some cases where some users were able to circumvent this issue, the audio playback disappeared. This meant while they were able to watch the video, the audio was missing.

This crackdown is speculated to be part of YouTube’s “global effort” taking on ad blockers. As per the video-streaming platform, these programs, often presented as browser plugins, violate its API services’ terms of service.

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