YouTube Cracks Down on Ad-Blocking Apps

Avoiding ads with YouTube Premium costs $14 per month.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
2 min read
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YouTube is making it tougher to use third-party, ad-blocking apps that go against its terms of service, the company said Monday. Trying to watch a video using such apps could lead to buffering issues or the error message: "The following content is not available on this app."

The move is the latest development in YouTube's efforts to prevent ad blocking. The video giant said last fall it had "launched a global effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad free experience," according to a statement first shared with The Verge. On its support site, YouTube says it may block your video playback if you use ad blockers.

In 2020, Google implemented new restrictions on ads in short videos lasting under 8 minutes, with Chrome preventing ads from playing in the middle of that content and YouTube avoiding those ads to begin with. The change was aimed at making the ad experience less annoying for users. The adblocker crackdown, however, is a turn in the opposite direction.

"We want to emphasize that our terms don't allow third-party apps to turn off ads because that prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and ads on YouTube help support creators and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service," YouTube said in its announcement about the third-party, ad-blocking apps.

If you prefer an ad-free experience, YouTube Premium, which comes with YouTube Music Premium, costs $14 per month after a $2 increase last year. YouTube reported in 2022 that the services together had surpassed 80 million paid subscribers.

Google also offers users the ability to modify what kinds of ads they see via its Ad Settings section. You can visit your ad center to adjust your preferences for YouTube and other Google-owned apps.