Technology, Smartphones, Games

YouTube's New Tactic Against Ad Blockers: Skipping Videos and Muting Audio


Image Credit: Ideogram

YouTube has been battling ad blockers for a long time, trying various methods to get users to watch ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium. Recently, YouTube has introduced a new tactic: skipping videos straight to the end if an ad blocker is detected. This method prevents viewers from watching content without ads.

A video shared on Reddit shows this new approach in action. When users try to replay the video or skip to different sections, it immediately jumps to the end screen or loads indefinitely. This has left many users frustrated as they cannot watch the video properly.

New Youtube adblock weird behaviour - video automatically skips to the end
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Some users have also reported that YouTube videos play without any sound. When they adjust the volume, the sound returns for a second but then mutes again. However, this issue disappears once they disable their ad blocker. This suggests that YouTube is using different techniques to disrupt the viewing experience for those using ad blockers.

Interestingly, this problem seems to mainly affect users of Adblock and Adblock Plus. Users of another popular ad blocker, uBlock Origin, have reported no issues with YouTube videos. This difference hints that the disruption might be related to how specific ad blockers interact with YouTube.

Earlier this year, in January, Adblock and Adblock Plus users experienced issues with YouTube being slow and unresponsive. At first, many thought YouTube was behind these problems, but it turned out to be a bug in the ad-blocking software itself.

YouTube's efforts to curb ad blockers started with pop-up warnings, telling users that using ad blockers violated its terms of service. Users were forced to either disable their ad blockers or subscribe to YouTube Premium to continue watching videos. By November, YouTube escalated its efforts, moving from testing these methods to implementing them globally. This change led to many users uninstalling their ad blockers to avoid the hassle.

In April, YouTube extended its crackdown to third-party apps that allowed users to stream videos without ads. This move was part of a broader effort to ensure all viewers either watch ads or pay for an ad-free experience through YouTube Premium.

YouTube's ongoing battle with ad blockers shows the complexities of maintaining a free service that relies heavily on advertising revenue. As the platform continues to find ways to counteract ad blockers, users must decide whether to accept ads, pay for a premium service, or seek alternative ways to access content.