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YouTube is ramping up its enforcement against ad-blockers, by blocking certain third-party apps. On a totally unrelated note, did you know YouTube offers a paid ad-free subscription?

On Monday, YouTube posted an update saying people who use third-party ad-blockers “may experience buffering” or get a playback error. YouTube’s terms of service bans ad-blockers and now the video streaming giant is getting serious about enforcing this. [An ad-blocker] prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and Ads on YouTube help support creators and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service,” said the announcement.

Last October, YouTube announced a “global effort” to crack down on ad-blocking services on the platform, per The Verge. Previously, this was rolled out to smaller groups and targeted specific ad-blockers. Users could still find a workaround by downloading a third-party app via YouTube’s API. But now YouTube is closing off all ways of ad-blocking by prohibiting third-party apps that do this as well.

This is undoubtedly a good thing for creators who make money from YouTube content, but a bummer for casual viewers, although we kinda get it. YouTube is in the delicate position of having to keep creators happy in addition to its advertisers and users. But this time, users are losing out. On the surface it’s a classic case of enshittification, or locking in users by offering a free service then gradually making it worse to force users to sign up for the premium version, but on the other hand, you could just sit through the ads.

By making YouTube videos unplayable, viewers are forced to turn off their ad-blockers or sign up for a YouTube Premium account which is $14 a month. Revenue from subscription fees is shared with creators in the YouTube Partner Program.

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