YouTube and Google continue campaign against ad blockers in latest update

YouTube logo on an iPhone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google recently released a statement confirming that its recent update may affect ad-blocking add-ons for YouTube.

Google'’s statement reads, "YouTube is improving its performance and reliability in serving both organic and ad video content. This update may result in suboptimal viewing experiences for viewers with ad blockers installed. Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and we’ve been urging viewers for some time to support their favorite creators and allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.”

This statement was added to an article by AndroidAuthority, following a report on a crowdsourced blocking tool that identifies and skips sponsor segments in videos. According to that post, YouTube is trialing server-side ad injections, which allows it to stitch ad segments into the videos and servers, rather than combining them from two separate sources. This, in turn, makes it much harder for ad-blockers to identify where ads begin.

YouTube requiring sign in

(Image credit: @justusecobalt on X)

Added to this is a recent bug logged to the NewPipe GitHub, and confirmed in a post on X by the developers of the Colbat add-on, earlier this month. It indicates that Google could start making users sign in before starting a video. The "bug", if that is what it is, seems to require users to log on while trying to watch without signing in. 

YouTube has competed with ad-blocking software for years, with the company recently being accused of deliberately slowing down and skipping videos if the users have an ad blocker. YouTube also recently confirmed that it's launched a new “global effort” to stop people using ad-blockers on the platform. So far adblockers have found ways to circumvent many of the changes but it is likely only a matter of time.. 

While it might annoy some people that they will not be able to avoid ads, it should be noted that there are several benefits to YouTube Premium. The service allows users to download videos, go add free and even play videos while phone screens are turned off. 

If you prefer to look somewhere else for your content then we have a list of the best streaming services to help you choose. Incidentally, you can also use one of the best VPNs to make sure you don't miss any of your favorite home content when you're traveling abroad.

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.