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YouTube is making a bigger effort to go after third-party apps that block its ads

YouTube logo against a black and red background

Google's YouTube video streaming service has been trying for a while to stop third parties from blocking access to its ads. In August 2023, it generated pop-up messages when web browsers with ad blockers were used to play YouTube videos, warning users that their video playback would not run unless those ad blockers were disabled.

Now, a new YouTube support page posted on Monday indicates that third-party YouTube apps that also attempt to shut down ads will be getting similar treatment.

The new support message says that people who use third-party apps that block YouTube ads could see buffering when they try to stream videos. They may also see the error message “The following content is not available on this app” when attempting to watch videos.

YouTube stated the reasons for this new crackdown on third-party ad-blocking apps:

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.

The message added that if any third-party YouTube violates its API Terms of Service, "we will take appropriate action to protect our platform, creators, and viewers."

The only official way to get rid of ads on YouTube is to purchase a subscription to YouTube Premium. That currently costs $13.99 a month, or $139.99 for an annual subscription. Students do get a big discount of $7.99 a month, and there's also a family plan that costs $22.99 a month. It lets you share its benefits with up to five people who live in the same residential address.

It seems clear that Google is trying its best to keep its revenue streams going with YouTube, either by running ads or with Premium subscriptions.

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