YouTube is conducting a new experiment aimed at limiting the use of ad blockers by requiring users to turn them off after watching three videos or purchasing a premium subscription.
A user posted a screenshot on Reddit showing that users using the ad blocker extension on the desktop will see a warning from YouTube that reads, “The video player will be disabled after 3 videos.” The following message reads, “We found that you may be using an ad blocker. Unless YouTube is whitelisted or ad blockers are disabled, video playback will be disabled.”
Another screenshot posted by a user shows an alert message from YouTube blocking access to the video after 3 videos have been played, stating that “Ad blockers are in violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service” and that some users are also experiencing YouTube restricting ad blockers on mobile.
In response, YouTube said the warning was part of an experiment, with the company saying in a statement, “We’re running a small global experiment urging viewers with ad blockers to allow YouTube to play ads or try YouTube Premium,” Google also said, adding that if Google also said that if users don’t whitelist YouTube as an ad blocker, playback could be temporarily disabled in “extreme cases.
YouTube has also conducted some experiments in the past to push people to buy premium subscriptions. Last year YouTube briefly ran a test that required users to buy a paid plan to watch 4K video. Last September, YouTube even tested showing up to 11 unskippable ads at the start of a video.
Last year, YouTube said it had more than 80 million subscribers to its music and paid services.