YouTube to increase enforcement on third-party ad-blocking apps

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YouTube began its fight against ad-blockers late last year and the company has now begun targeting third-party ad-blocker apps. Initially, the pushback was focused more on actual ad-blockers that were allowing users to skirt around ads without having a YouTube Premium subscription. But this was more so on PC with users streaming through the YouTube webpage.

YouTube then hit users with a “stern warning” to stop using ad-blockers. Which ended up receiving pushback from users. Some complained of slowed video loading. Although YouTube later says it didn’t slow down videos for users who had ad-blockers active. Its latest initiative appears to be targeting third-party ad-blocking apps that stream YouTube content. Such ReVanced. For YouTube’s end, the company says apps like ReVanced violate its terms of service because they allow the user to turn off ads, and turning off ads prevents creators from being rewarded for viewership.

“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 a support post.

Users watching YouTube via third-party ad-blocking apps may experience buffering

The big change for users who are still watching videos through these apps on Android or iOS is likely going to be one of quality degradation. YouTube specifically states that users watching through these apps may experience buffering. They may also see an error that states the content they’re trying to watch isn’t available in that app. YouTube very clearly wants people to pay for YouTube Premium.

And this is another step in hopes that it can convince users to pay for that subscription. This is meant to be the ad-free experience for those who don’t want to view any ads at all. But apps like ReVanced have given users a way to get around that until now. YouTube also says that it will begin to crack down apps that violate its policies. For now, it seems users may just end up with slowed video loads. Or some videos may just not be viewable at all.

But in the future, some of these apps may no longer be able to use YouTube’s API.