YouTube's adblock war is causing users to install better blockers, hurting creators


YouTube recently began displaying messages to users with ad blockers enabled, saying their video watching would be disabled if they didn't turn off ad blocking. This tactic is backfiring, as Chrome extension installs for ad blockers have increased 300-500%. YouTube risks alienating users and hurting creator ad revenue.

Timestamped Highlights

😮 Popular ad blockers see 300-500% increase in installs after YouTube's threats to disable viewing for users with ad blocking enabled.
😠 When YouTube tries to mandate what users can do, they tend to react strongly in the opposite direction, as the early internet's history shows.
💸 Majority of YouTube viewers don't even know ad blockers exist. YouTube risks awakening them to easy ad blocking, further hurting creator revenue.
👍 Viewers would gladly pay for quality teaching content from YouTube creators. Different models beyond pure ads are needed.
💡 Viewers sent the message they won't pay for content, but will accept privacy violations for free services fueled by their data. Users and creators must work together to find better models.
😤 The more YouTube tries to mandate ad blocker rules, the more users will resist and react in the opposite way.

Key Insights

Disabling viewing on YouTube for ad block users likely violates open web principles and risks government intervention.
If YouTube breaks viewing on common devices by detecting ad blockers, they risk a significant drop in viewership and revenue.
YouTube’s threats awakened many viewers to easy ad blocking who were previously unaware, which could greatly increase adoption.
Without ads, quality teaching content struggles while clickbait thrives, rewarding poor content. Ethical advertising models are needed.
Users, creators, and platforms must collaborate to find better models, as the current system optimizes for addiction over quality.
Small experiments with Creator-Led models would provide useful data on willingness to pay and could scale.
If YouTube focused more on converting viewers to paid subscribers for top creators, total revenue could increase.
This blog is a summary of a YouTube video "YouTube's adblock war is backfiring in the worst way possible 🤣 - YouTube" by Louis Rossmann