YouTube is currently running what it describes as a “small global experiment”, warning users to turn off their ad blockers and avoid being limited to just three video views.
As spotted for the first time by a Reddit user on Wednesday, YouTube now shows a pop-up that warns ad blocker users targeted by this test that “the video player will be blocked after 3 videos”.
“It appears that you are using an ad blocker. Video playback will be blocked unless YouTube is on the allowlist or the ad blocker is disabled,” the message adds.
“Ads keep YouTube free for billions of users around the world. You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium, and creators can still get paid on your subscription.”
After receiving this warning, YouTube users will have only two options: turn off their ad blocker and allow ads or subscribe to YouTube Premium to get rid of all ads.
YouTube confirmed the alerts were part of an experiment and said the company is urging viewers to allow ads on the platform or try YouTube Premium.
“We’re running a small, global experiment that prompts viewers with ad blockers enabled to either allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium,” YouTube told BleepingComputer.
When asked if the company plans to block users from accessing the platform if they use ad blockers, YouTube said playback could be temporarily disabled in “extreme cases”.
“In extreme cases, where viewers continue to use ad blockers, playback will be temporarily disabled. We take disabling playback very seriously and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests for permission advertisements on YouTube,” the company said.
“To avoid disruption to this experience, viewers using ad blockers can turn off their ad blocker, allow YouTube ads, or subscribe to YouTube Premium.”
YouTube has not shared the number and regions involved in this experiment and sees these disclaimers.
This follows another “little experiment” in May, when YouTube tested directly block ad blocker users to access the platform.
“Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers routinely ask viewers to disable ad blockers,” a spokesperson told BleepingComputer at the time.
YouTube Music and Premium services recently surpassed 80 million subscribers, adding more than 30 million in a year, according to Variety.