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YouTube is taking a new approach to its crackdown on ad-blockers by delaying the start of videos for users attempting to avoid ads.

There were also complaints by various X (formerly Twitter) users who said that YouTube would not even let a video play until the ad blocker was disabled or the user purchased a YouTube Premium subscription.

Instead of an ad, some sources using Firefox and Edge browsers have reported waiting around five seconds before the video launches the content.

According to users, the Chrome browser, which the streaming giant shares an owner with, remains unaffected.

Of the delays, a YouTube spokesperson said: “In the past week, users using ad blockers may have experienced suboptimal viewing, which included delays in loading, regardless of the browser they are using. Users who have uninstalled their ad blockers may still experience a temporary delay in loading and should try refreshing their browser”.

%name YouTube’s Ad Blocker Crackdown Heats Up
Credit: 9to5Google

Previously, Google acknowledged that they are hampering video playback for those using ad-blockers, giving the excuse that they want users to have a “suboptimal viewing” experience, but disagrees that Chrome is favoured.

“To support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favourite content on YouTube, we’ve launched an effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using,” Google said.

Only weeks ago, Google started preventing video playback entirely for some users with a provided message: “It looks like you may be using an ad blocker. Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide. You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid from your subscription.”

Like other streaming giants, YouTube is raising its rates with the Premium price going up to $13.99 in the U.S., but users may have to shell out the money, and even if they do, they may not be completely free of ads.

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