Staff Reporters
Aug 14, 2023

YouTube tests new countdown timer to prevent ad-blocker usage

Varied from 30 to 60 seconds according to recent reports by users, the countdown timer is now appearing on select ad-blocker warnings.

Photo: Getty Images.
Photo: Getty Images.

YouTube is experimenting with timers on its ad blockers, as Google’s video-streaming giant seeks to propel its premium subscription offerings forward.

The feature was reported by a Reddit user, who posted a screenshot displaying the timer on the upper right side of the ad block pop-up, and a handful of other users also chimed in to confirm they’ve been served the same. The exact timing of the countdown clock has not been confirmed, but in accordance with the Reddit post, it lasts somewhere between 30 and 60 seconds.

However, it appears that YouTube is only testing this feature with a select few accounts for now, after sharing its three-strike policy rule in June for users trying to access ad blockers, which violate the platform’s terms of service. Repeated usage of blockers will result in users being temporarily or permanently disbarred from watching videos.

The latest crackdown on ad-blockers from the platform comes as they actively try to drive subscriptions across their business model. Their YouTube Premium offering launched in 2014 (now costing $13.99, up from $11.99) provides users ad-free access to content across the site, as well as to YouTube Originals (programming produced in collaboration with the site's creators), downloaded videos, and background playback of videos on mobile devices. It also comes with the platform’s audio-streaming service, YouTube Music.

YouTube has had several recent changes, including introducing AI-generated video summaries so users can read a quick synopsis of the videos displayed in lists, to enable users to select which content is most relevant to them.

Additionally, Google has also replaced its ‘in-stream’ classification from the name of one of its video formats with ‘skippable ads’, following allegations they were misleading advertisers over recent months. The amendment will be reflected throughout display & Video 360.

Campaign Asia

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