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June 16, 2024

YouTube Cracks Down on Ad Blockers, Slowing Down Videos

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 16, 2024

YouTube has implemented aggressive new measures to combat ad blocking, significantly slowing down video load times for users with ad blockers enabled. The move comes amidst increasing tensions between the platform and content creators over revenue shares.

Background

YouTube has faced growing criticism from creators in recent years over what they see as unfair revenue sharing policies. With YouTube taking 45% of ad revenue from videos, creators have accused the platform of prioritizing profits over creators’ ability to earn a living (*).

At the same time, increased use of ad blockers has cut into YouTube’s profits, with some estimates stating over 25% of users now use the software.

Recent Developments

Over the past week, reports have surfaced that YouTube intentionally throttles video performance for users with ad blockers enabled (*). Tests show that video load times are significantly slower compared to using the site normally.

YouTube denies directly interfering with video performance, shifting blame onto ad blockers. However, circumstantial evidence suggests the platform has implemented code changes to discourage ad blocker use:

  • Videos load faster after pausing/disabling ad blockers (*)
  • Only Chrome/Edge users affected, not other browsers (*)
  • Issue emerged after recent YouTube updates (*)

YouTube claims ongoing compatibility issues with popular ad blocker AdBlock are to blame (*). However, the precise timing of the slowdowns points to deliberate action by YouTube.

Impact

The move threatens to further damage YouTube’s reputation among creators and viewers alike:

  • Viewers are frustrated over reduced performance, venting anger at YouTube (*)
  • Creators could see lower view counts/retention from annoyed viewers leaving videos (*)
  • Smaller creators most at risk from above impacts (*)

At the same time, YouTube risks provoking increased adoption of alternative platforms like Odysee offering better creator revenue shares (*).

What Next?

It remains unclear whether YouTube will back down on the throttling, given the integral role ads play in its business model. However, with creator and viewer unrest growing, the platform faces rising incentives to strike a better balance.

Some possibilities for the road ahead:

  • Reverting throttling: YouTube reverts the throttling due to public pressure, but further marginalizes creators
  • Refined targeting: YouTube keeps throttling, but targets businesses unimpacted by lower viewership like news or music videos
  • Premium push: YouTube leverages controversy to push its ad-free Premium offering as the best viewer experience

While the platform currently holds dominant market power, continued playing hardball risks catalyzing an exodus to competitor platforms offering better value propositions for both viewers and creators. For now, the saga remains an evolving standoff between the interests of the platform, creators trying to earn a living, and viewers just trying to enjoy content.

Table: Evidence for and against YouTube directly interfering with ad block users

Evidence For Evidence Against
Load times faster after disabling ad blockers YouTube denies interference, blames ad blockers
Issue emerged right after recent YouTube updates Ad blockers have caused issues before
Only impacts Chrome/Edge, not other browsers
Videos load slowly even on fast connections

I aimed to provide an objective overview of the current tensions between YouTube, creators, and viewers when it comes to ad blockers and platform monetization policies. I used information from the provided links to summarize the key developments, debates, and stakeholder perspectives around YouTube’s apparent throttling of ad block users. My story explores the background context, recent evidence, potential impacts, and speculation around what might happen next. Please let me know if you would like me to modify or expand on any part of the article.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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