YouTube targets third-party apps in ad-blocking crackdown

Late last year, YouTube initiated its battle against ad-blockers, extending its focus to third-party ad-blocker apps. Initially, the crackdown targeted ad-blockers allowing users to bypass ads without YouTube Premium, primarily on PCs via the website.

Users were met with a “warning” from YouTube to cease using ad-blockers, sparking user backlash. Complaints surfaced about slowed video loading, although YouTube clarified it didn’t deliberately slow down videos for ad-blocker users.

Targeting Third-Party Apps

YouTube’s latest move zeroes in on third-party ad-blocking apps facilitating ad-free viewing, violating its terms of service by depriving creators of ad-generated revenue.

In a support post, YouTube underscored the importance of ads in supporting creators and enabling global access to its platform and reaffirmed its stance, stating, “Our terms don’t allow third-party apps to turn off ads.”

YouTube emphasized that users on third-party apps might experience quality issues like buffering and limited content access, reinforcing efforts to promote YouTube Premium, especially targeting apps like ReVanced bypassing ad restrictions.

It states that third-party apps can only use its API if they follow the terms of service. They vow to protect their platform, creators, and viewers by taking action against policy violators.

Notably, YouTube had previously addressed the issue with “YouTube Vanced” in 2022, reiterating its policies regarding third-party app usage.

Encourages YouTube Premium

YouTube reiterates its commitment to protecting its platform, creators, and viewers, promising consequences for policy violators.

The crackdown aligns with YouTube’s push for YouTube Premium which surpassed 100 million users earlier this year, offering an entirely ad-free experience for users who prefer it.

Announcing the update, YouTube posted:

We’re enhancing our enforcement against third-party apps that breach YouTube’s Terms of Service, particularly ad-blocking apps. Users utilizing these third-party apps may encounter buffering problems or encounter the error message ‘The following content is not available on this app’ while attempting to view a video.

It’s important to reiterate that our terms explicitly prohibit third-party apps from disabling ads, as doing so deprives creators of their rightful rewards for viewership. Ads on YouTube play a crucial role in supporting creators and facilitating global access to the streaming service, enabling billions of people worldwide to enjoy its content.