Youtube is free with ad-blockers

YouTube’s campaign against ad-blockers has prompted a surge in users uninstalling these ad-blocker software tools at an unprecedented rate. However, a more significant number of users have opted for alternative ad-blockers that effectively bypass YouTube’s warning mechanisms. Some users have gone to the extent of switching to entirely different web browsers to evade YouTube’s measures.

YouTube’s recent escalation of its ad-blocking initiatives, shifting from a limited experiment to a global implementation, has yielded mixed results. On one hand, there has been a notable increase in users uninstalling ad-blocker software. On the other hand, a considerably larger number of users are embracing more effective ad-blockers, rendering YouTube’s efforts less effective.

In October, hundreds of thousands of users uninstalled ad-blockers, likely in response to YouTube’s intensified crackdown. Concurrently, there has been a record-breaking influx of users installing alternative ad-blockers, which evade YouTube’s detection mechanisms. Wired reported these trends.

Krzysztof Modras, representing Ghostery, a popular ad-blocker in Chrome’s extension store, revealed that they have witnessed three to five times the usual number of installations and uninstalls over the past month. More than 90% of users who removed the extension attributed their decision to its failure on YouTube. However, there was a 30% increase in installations on Microsoft Edge as users sought suitable alternatives.

Another ad-blocker, AdGuard, typically sees around 6,000 daily uninstalls on Chrome. This figure surged to 11,000 daily between October 9 and the end of the month, peaking at 52,000 on October 18. Remarkably, the paid version of the extension remains unaffected by YouTube’s ban. Consequently, user counts increased, with 60,000 installations on October 18 and October 27.

At present, YouTube’s crackdown on ad-blockers has led users to actively seek better alternatives. Some have turned to solutions like Newpipe, a YouTube-like website capable of playing videos from the platform without ads. Industry experts, including Modras, caution that YouTube’s efforts could lead to more sophisticated ad-blocking tactics, potentially creating unintentional security vulnerabilities.

For users in search of alternatives, extensions like uBlock Origin continue to function on Firefox. Adblock Plus has also provided suggestions on how to bypass YouTube’s anti-ad block measures. Additionally, users have the option of subscribing to YouTube Premium to access ad-free content, although this requires a financial commitment.