YouTube’s recent expansion of its efforts to combat ad-blockers has backfired, leading to a surge in users installing more effective ad-blocking software. What initially started as a small experiment has now become a global initiative for the video-sharing platform. While the move has driven some users to uninstall their ad-blockers, it has simultaneously pushed even more users to adopt superior ad-blocking alternatives.
In October, hundreds of thousands of users uninstalled their ad-blocking software, likely in response to YouTube’s intensified campaign, according to a report by Wired. However, during the same period, there was a remarkable increase in the installation of ad-blocking alternatives that YouTube’s measures couldn’t thwart.
Krzysztof Modras, representing Ghostery, one of the popular ad-blockers available as a Chrome extension, reported a three to fivefold rise in both installations and uninstalls over the past month.
Interestingly, over 90% of users who removed the extension pointed to its ineffectiveness on YouTube as their primary reason. Meanwhile, the company experienced a 30% surge in installations on Microsoft Edge as users sought alternatives.
AdGuard, another ad-blocking tool, disclosed that they usually witness around 6,000 uninstallations per day on Chrome. However, this number skyrocketed to 11,000 daily between October 9 and the month’s end, reaching a peak of 52,000 on October 18.
Remarkably, the paid version of the extension remained unaffected by YouTube’s crackdown. As people discovered this, user counts surged, hitting as high as 60,000 installations on October 18 and October 27.
The current situation indicates that YouTube’s efforts to combat ad-blockers have led users to search for more robust alternatives. Some users are even turning to platforms like Newpipe, which resembles YouTube but allows ad-free video streaming.
Industry experts, including Modras, are cautioning that YouTube’s attempts to thwart ad-blockers may result in more sophisticated blocking tactics. These advanced methods could inadvertently create security vulnerabilities.
For those seeking alternatives, extensions like uBlock Origin continue to function effectively on Firefox, while Adblock Plus has provided suggestions on how to bypass YouTube’s anti-ad-blocking measures. Additionally, users have the option to subscribe to YouTube Premium as a way to enjoy an ad-free experience.