back to article YouTube now sabotages ad-blocking apps that stream its vids

YouTube says it will intentionally cripple the playback of its videos in third-party apps that block its ads. A Monday post in YouTube's help forum notes netizens using applications that strip out adverts while streaming YouTube videos may encounter playback issues due to buffering or error messages indicating that the content …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "I have a hard time believing"

    I don't.

    We live in an age where multinational behemoths believe that they have the right to define how we go about our daily lives and, for Alphabet, that means it has the right to track our every move. It will do any and everything it can to ensure that that "right" is enforced.

    Poor Mr Orwell. He thought it would be governments . . .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I have a hard time believing"

      > Poor Mr Orwell. He thought it would be governments . . .

      Instead of the people who are rich enough to buy a government or two.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: "I have a hard time believing"

      To be honest, I have a hard time believing people care that much about privacy — If they did, they would be a lot more careful about what they do on the internet. I think people use adblockers because they don't want ads, and YouTube could remove the behavior tracking and users wouldn't uninstall the adblockers.

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: "I have a hard time believing"

        Well I tolerated the ads until they became absurdly frequent. Even if I had left the skip button alone the same crap would come up 3 minutes later.

        Can't watch anything like that.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: "I have a hard time believing"

          You're supposed to watch the ads. The content is just a side dish.

        2. Shades

          Re: "I have a hard time believing"

          For some reason my combination of browser addons seems to be holding YT adverts at bay for the ever shrinking list of channels with videos that are worth watching, but on devices with only official app support (like the Playstation)... holy hell, how can anybody watch that shit is beyond me?! Pre-stream ads, unskippable ads, 30-god-damn-minute long ads, ads that now have a silent pause after it finishes (which, like the annoying silent car advert on UK terrestrial TV, subconsciously makes you look up at it), all of which seem like every few minutes.

          I can't say I've ever used YT less which, and I'm no expert in these matters, seems a little bit counter productive if the whole operation is based on eyeball time. Sure, YT/Alphabet aren't a charity, running a site like YT with all the costs that entails ain't cheap and they have to make money somehow but there has got to be a better balance; at this rate it's not going to be long before we'll have content breaks in the middle of the adverts instead.

    3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: "I have a hard time believing"

      On the other hand I'm bemused by those who think that the great unwashed should be able to dictate to companies just what the company should do WITHOUT haveing to pay anything for it.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: "I have a hard time believing"

        Forgot the sarcasm tag, didn't you?

      2. ScottishYorkshireMan

        Re: "I have a hard time believing"

        Why the hell would I pay for XYZ's opinion on the latest doodab, widget or whatever? If I am being offered actual knowledge, I will pay for it, and in a number of cases I have until I learned that even subscribing to the likes of a YT channel, YT take their cut of any subscriptions.

        I think your expectation that we should pay for any old shite, deserves the Kevin Bridges response of "Enjoy your night, mate".

      3. DoctorNine
        Headmaster

        Re: "I have a hard time believing"

        You know the phrase we use, when we descibe how humans interact while communicating?

        We call it "PAYING attention".

    4. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: "I have a hard time believing"

      Governments, mega corps, is there a difference?

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I've not noticed a problem with SmartTube on my Fire stick when I was watching videos on their earlier. But i do use the intra app so I can use my own encrypted DNS with Adguard and this also blocks some of the Google ad and tracker domains. I am not sure if that will help bypass Googles attempt to block 3rd party YT apps?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Domain blocking hasn’t worked for YouTube ads for a very long time, the video ads come from the same domains as the actual content you want to watch.

    2. b1k3rdude

      Have a look at Newpipe.

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Newpipe Legacy cr@pped its pants at some point in the previous weeks: I use an ancient tablet basically as video streamer, so it can only run Legacy, and now the app can't display anything.

        Hope the users of Newpipe standard are doing better

  3. J__M__M

    52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

    The keyword being "said".

    Does anyone know what percentage of Americans actually know what an ad-blocker is?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

      Or that they'd actually *do* something The Feds think is a good idea, instead of just *saying* that they do it.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

      The true number is probably higher. I set up my mom's PC with an ad blocker, but if she was surveyed she would have no idea what that is and wouldn't answer "yes".

      The modern web is pretty much unusable without an ad blocker, if 48% of people don't have one I'll show you 48% of people who only use a web browser for a limited set of sites, the more "necessary" browsing like if your doctor's office uses it to confirm appointments you'll visit there but you sure aren't following google links.

      If you want a taste of what the real web is like, follow a few links in the Facebook app. Facebook's internal web browser doesn't use the ad blocker you've configured so you see the web in its full horrific glory (note to avoid that use the "open in external browser" option)

      1. My-Handle

        Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

        Agree. You don't even need to look far. I occasionally look at El Reg on my phone, which doesn't have an ad blocker installed. Ads are spliced in after every second paragraph or so, and the content keeps bouncing up and down as ads of different sizes are loaded in. And, broadly speaking, I'd say El Reg's ads are on the better side of other news sites out there.

        Generally, I do most of my browsing on my laptop, which is properly set up with an ad blocker.

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

        > The modern web is pretty much unusable without an ad blocker

        This ^

        I've installed ad blockers on all my family's browsers too, because without them the "web" is unusable.

        Note I didn't mind the old ad banners from yesteryear (remember those? Inert, at best animated GIFs, without those 90 MB of JavaScript code you have to load from some arthritic server on the other side of the planet?). Nowadays not only ads have become aggressive and overbearing, there are way too many of them. Too many ads kill the ads, from "information about stuff" they have become a curse on way too many levels.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

          The funny thing is that if you follow those Facebook links you can't possibly read the page. Sometimes if I'm too slow with the "open in browser" step it will either go blank or be replaced by some sort of "spin to win" ad. I have to actually hit the back button to get back to the real page so I can open it in my web browser.

          Makes me wonder how many people are trying to read stuff in the built in web browser and after being unable to do so, simply quit following links? I have to think that hurts Facebook in the long run, and that they ought to support at least limited ad blocking in their built in browser so that the sites being linked are actually useful.

          1. NapTime ForTruth
            Stop

            Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

            "I have to think that hurts Facebook in the long run..."

            Much like the guy who sells crack exists to take your money, Facebook exists to serve you ads, while also offering misleading information and making you feel bad about yourself. The ostensible content is a trivial side effect of that.

            The only people hurting at Facebook are the users.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: 52% of Americans said they use an ad-blocker

              Facebook offers misinformation because that generates engagement. They also show a lot of cat videos, because that also generates engagement. I don't think there's any higher ups at Facebook deliberately tweaking the algorithm to show more misinformation - the algorithm is just a simple optimizer that shows the content that is generating the most engagement. The evil at Facebook is a Nazi style evil of planning concentration camps, it is a German citizen style evil of looking the other way even though you know what is going on.

              For paid content having the web links lead to lots of ads is a consequence of Facebook's model - the more ad revenue the content provider makes the more they are willing to pay Facebook. But if that content causes such problems for end users trying following links to the point where they quit bothering because they can never read whatever they were promised, that will hurt Facebook's bottom line in the long. That's something they will care about, because as you say they exist to make money.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    API

    This crackdown is coming at the API level, as these outside apps use this interface to access the Google-owned giant's videos.

    Well, not entirely. YouTube says apps using the YouTube API must follow the YouTube terms of service and show ads, software like NewPipe, FreeTube, LibreTube, and Grayjay don't use the API and instead scrape the website so they're acting like a browser and when Google's lawyers send their usual letter they can tell them to go and do one.

    1. Jamesit

      Re: API

      ""I think this move sucks, and is once again burdening users with an ongoing violation of privacy by demanding that they uninstall ad-blockers and other content blocking extensions,""

      Youtube-dl still works to download the videos, without ads or tracking. https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl, The youtube-dl.org domain is blocked.

      "Access denied

      Due to a ruling of the Hamburg Regional Court, access to this website is blocked."

      1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: API

        >> The youtube-dl.org domain is blocked

        Oi! we Brexited to get away from this... oh crap, another sunny upland....

  5. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Why would I pay for something that is actively developed to annoy me?

    If I pay for something, I'm the customer, and I expect decent customer service.

    Youtube has for years continued to make the experience worse for users. They may have technical ability, but the YouTube developers are absolutely clueless about how humans work.

    They show utter contempt for commenters Their censorship rules make no sense. You can't even link to a youtube created youtube video. If they decide a comment should be censored, they just delete it without warning. If they decide a comment should "probably" be censored, they shadow-ban it - useful replies I'd made to others in the past were never seen - I only found out about the shadow ban when someone asked me elsewhere for the information I promised I'd reply to a thread with (and did)

    A few years ago, they've made the "thumbnails" HUGE - totally inappropriate for a large screen. They are still like it. Why can't I set it as it was before?

    You reply to someones comment, and the comment is greyed out so you can't read the post you're replying to, even though it's on the screen.

    Every update seems to remove some customisation control, dumbing things down further.

    Pause a video? Screen dims until you click on it. Why? Why can't I disable this?

    Every day I'm closer and closer to scrapping youtube altogether - not because of the content, but because of youtube "designers" with no common sense.

    Without all this crap, I probably would pay for it, but as it stands, no, I'm not going to pay for something that annoys me.

    </rant>

    1. ldo

      Re: they just delete it without warning

      After I noticed this starting to happen, I developed the habit of waiting 30-60 seconds, then opening the link to my comment in a private-browsing window. If I could still see it, then that meant it hadn’t been deleted.

      If my comment was deleted, then I might try to narrow down the cause of the deletion: split the comment in half, and see if the first half gets through. Sometimes it’s a particular trigger word, which I could get around by splitting the offending word in half.

      Sometimes the simple act of splitting the comment up was enough to bypass the filter.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: they just delete it without warning

        Yep, i've been doing the same thing with the incognito window, and splitting the replies. Sometimes I get determined to "beat the system", other times I get fed up and delete the whole thing. Either way, it pisses me off, so I try to avoid reading comments now.

        Sometimes the trigger word is a word that is allowed elsewhere., I often see words filtered for me that other people get away with using.

        Do you know if there is a "naughty list" of people treated more harshly?

        Anyway, it's a bit moot. I'm planning on stopping using it eventually, especially as some of the "intelligent" channels are leaving.

        Oh, that reminds me...

        <rant 2>

        They got rid of the "video downvotes" display, so you can't easily tell immediiately if a video is clickbait crap.

        Shorts - They keep slamming these in your face. They are videos shorter than a minute, that are intentionally hobbled to be:

        - portrait only

        - non-addable to playlists.

        - unseekable

        ... just to compete with tiktok.

        And again, no option to switch them the hell off.

        Also, content providers are being encouraged to these shorts. I know of at least 2 "proper" content providers who have quit because the push to shorts has affected the reach and vieweship of their longer and more informative videos.

        And another thing..... The android app is poor, but better than the web client, but now, on chromebooks, the install for youtube is one of those crappy web-page-pretending-to-be-app monstrosities, so you have to download and sideload the app. Still, at least due to the way chromebooks run android apps, you can change windows without youtube stopping.

        And... what's with the fact that half their adverts are scams?

        </rant 2>

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: they just delete it without warning

          "And... what's with the fact that half their adverts are scams?"

          What? Only half? Have they had a major crackdown on scammers or something? :-)

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: they just delete it without warning

            Maybe I'm one of the gullible being scammed!

            In other news, I'm being shadowbanned for all my youtube posts now.

            I've 960 subscribers, millions of views on my posted videos, and never made a cent (admittedly, I never expected payment, as most of my videos are not produced by me, and are usually clips etc.) but still, they are putting ads on them.

            I made an innocent reply to something just now, comment disappeared.

            So to another post I just replied "yes, I agree", and again, comment disappeared from public view (If you view the page as not me, e.g. incognito mode, you'll see the number of stated replies go up each time I reply, but the replies don't appear)

            And all this happens without warning. I have nothing but contempt for their attitude.

  6. CountCadaver Silver badge

    Not just Youtube, Amazon also

    Using Firefox if you have ublock Origin enabled, product pages will frequently take an age to load with listing photos not showing up

    Disable Ublock Origin Extension (not just turn it off, but fully disable it) and pages load snappily and without any delay

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Not just Youtube, Amazon also

      Oh! I have that problem too. It's really annoying. I thought it was my phone playing up!

      I usually get it when looking at an item and scrolling through the pictures. The long delay always happens on picture #3

      I don't use ublock origin, but i do use a personal dns blocklist. I wonder if that's the issue?

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Not just Youtube, Amazon also

      > if you have ublock Origin enabled, product pages will frequently take an age to load

      Strange, never experienced that, and I use uBlock Origin both on my laptop and on my phone. What does sometimes prevent pictures from showing, is NoScript. In which case you just need to allow scripts from the obvious domain (usually some "ourwebsite-cdn.com" or other) and all is back to normal.

  7. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    I'm a bit conflicted on this. On the one hand, I'm all in favour of creators getting paid for their sometimes excellent content, and I don't mind watching a few ads to make that happen. If Google want to extrapolate from my interest in vintage computers, astronomy and occasional completely random things that just strike me as interesting, well, good luck to em.

    Similarly, it's Google's toy, it's up to them how they run it, and if you don't like it you're at perfect liberty to go watch something else - nobody is forcing you to watch YouTube.

    On the other hand, I've been using an ad blocker for a long time, and I recently remembered why - having been forced to watch YouTube on a smart TV with no ad blocker, the sheer number and length of ads in even a short video make the content pretty much unwatchable. It can't be good for either Google or the creators to irritate their audience to that extent, and it is surely only a matter of time before a more viewer-friendly, free to watch video platform comes along. I can't wait.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      I have a YouTube channel for me doing stuff on my cars. I have a mind blowing (to me) subscriber count of 280. I don't allow adverts to run on my videos because I'm not going to make money from it. YouTube are clamping down on this to the point where they will stick an advert on a video even if the creator doesn't want one on there.

      My biggest bug bear with YouTube are the adverts and their quality. I see videos about God botherers, swamp coolers that were created by 4 British engineers, a neat trick that British estate agents don't want you to hear, and grossly offensive and misleading claims regarding muslims in Palestine since October. Most, if not all, of these adverts you would not see on TV for a multitude of reasons but Google/YT see fit to show you them.

      What is worse are channel owners allowing YouTube to place adverts for them. One channel I watched is called Aging Wheels and in a 15 minute video I had 10 x 30/60 second adverts. What's worse is that he spent 2 minutes including his own advert for some awful processed meal bullshit at the beginning too. This laziness/greed on the creator part compounds the problem. So if I see a video like this I will downvote them, and I will comment as to why, and if I'm subscribed I'll unsubscribe.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Very much this!

        You forgot:

        "The flashlight so powerful the army wanted to ban it"

        "Cancel your cable subscription! This neat device gets you channels for free! [ it's basically an aerial - the scam is really aimed at American viewers with their cable-dominated provision, but is also broadcast converted to UK money, and makes even less sense there ]

        "This hack the power companies want to ban. This makes your power bill go down 400%!" [ It's a domestic power factor correction unit. Highly useless unless your home only uses electricity to power 500 fans and nothing else... And even then, doubtful ]

        "Your ISP doesn't want you to see this!! Speeds up your internet 5 times" [ basically, a wifi extender ]

        Any other advert that says "They tried to ban / they don't want you to see this!"

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Devil

          "they don't want you to see this!"

          And I'm happy to oblige.

  8. Dostoevsky

    Why Adblock?

    I use Piped & LibreTube, and I do it because the ads they serve up on the official interface are complete cow manure. If there were only small, aesthetically sane ads, I really wouldn't mind. I'd even go back to the official front-end to avoid the hassle of selecting a working Piped instance, &c.

    As it is right now, I feel completely justified in blocking the manure they're trying to shovel through my monitor.

  9. Oh Matron!

    There's a middle ground

    I use Vinegar on iOS and macOS which has made, crap content notwithstanding, watch youtube a pleasant experience

    However, I also understand the need to support the very content I'm watching

    And, Google, if you're watching: It doesn't need to be content-ad-content-ad-content

    It can be banners whilst watching the content. Or a side bar, or a whole host of other things. I see this quite often in the US when watching motorracing: we'd all hate to miss a moment of interest because of ads, so there's picture in picture and a whole host of other techniques used.

    So, this doesn't need to be binary. I'm sure that you can com up with a better way of serving ads that are so intrusive

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's a middle ground

      "I'm sure that you can come up with a better way of serving ads that are so intrusive"

      The point is to be intrusive ..... !!!

      If not intrusive then you can happily ignore them !!!

      I cannot understand why anyone uses this method of advertising, everyone finds the methods a pain and ad-blocking is not a minor sport anymore.

      I have ad-blocked for so long I cannot remember what they look like.

      How does anyone find this an effective way to sell .... anything !!!

      :)

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: There's a middle ground

        "How does anyone find this an effective way to sell .... anything"

        The advertisers have been told it is by the brokers, there's no real way for an individual advertiser to confirm or refute this, and everyone is terrified of not advertising enough given the competition. In fact, particularly given the general inept approach to advert 'personalisation', it's not at all effective except for the brokers, who sit in the middle taking fees whether it really works or not.

        But what site hosts fail to recognise that anyone using an ad blocker wouldn't respond to adverts anyway even if they were presented.

  10. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Oh, Yes ...

    ... Alphabet/Google/YouTube are all about protecting the rights and remuneration of the creators./sarcasm

  11. Iggle Piggle

    While I'm no fan of all the Ads, I have to say that it is their network and, while I've seen many people complain about those adverts as somehow infringing their rights, so they have the right to insert whatever content they like into the stream a user is downloading from their site. If you don't like it, don't use their service, or pay for the premium service, or even setup your own service that offers advert free content for no monthly fee and see how long that lasts.

    BTW I'm sure a bunch of you won't have noticed how the free site theregister.com has adverts all of its pages because you use an Ad blocker in your browser. I'd sooner the adverts than find the site is behind a pay wall.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Well... yes and no.

      Yes, I totally agree content creators should receive fair renumeration. Totally. I like reading ElReg, I like some YouTube channels (though a number has disabled ads and gets money from Patreon). I have my adblocker disabled (from time to time... until the ads drive me crazy again) on ElReg and two or three other pages. But when YT content creators actually show you the numbers, fair renumeration on YT does not really exist there (ever changing rules of what gets promoted by the algorithm, how people get paid, and at which threshold etc.).

      What I object to are ads that distract and annoy me, and these are, for example, animated ads or ads with sounds on static webpages (think pages like ElReg, or my local newspaper), ads that are clearly scams (very prevalent on YouTube, I actually do try and report them from time to time and nothing happens, same ad pops up over and over again) and ads that interrupt content in an unnatural fashion (like YT ads that pop up mid sentence, every two minutes). The fun thing is that using the YT app on the phone is bloody annoying (see above reasons), but watching the same videos using the phone's browser works, while still showing some ads before the start of the video.

      Thus: ad blockers. Sorry. You annoy me, you make the page load glacially slow (tons of javascript in ads), I choose to not get annoyed.

      I'm also totally for getting information about relevant stuff. Relevant subjects can easily be derived from the page's content. If I'm reading about, say, road bikes, I might not be interested in a new car (or vice versa), when reading ElReg I might be interested in some computing gear, maybe electronics, not the latest "fashion" fads on Temu (that said, the ads on ElReg seem quite... ok at the moment, there's much worse places - though I care f'all about Gartner's "Digital Workplace Summit"). Yes, ads serve the purpose to create a perceived need, but sometimes there are gems.

      1. b1k3rdude

        Ah but then there is the crux, for alphabet to do this, they would need to have a long and constant history of monitoring you and whats you do online, personally I am NOT ok with that.

        1. lukewarmdog

          surely parody

          Alphabet have a long and constant history of monitoring their users.

          FTFY

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No need for monitoring. Match the ad keywords to the words in the video description; then the ads are (more likely to be) relevant to the content being played.

          In the current system, they monitor everything they can, and then serve up ads that are 1. mostly scams, and 2. don't appear to be targeted at all.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "No need for monitoring. Match the ad keywords to the words in the video description; then the ads are (more likely to be) relevant to the content being played."

            From what I've gathered from some YouTybe channel operators, the title and description of the video, especially when first released, can make quite a difference to where it gets pushed by Youtube, eg in the "recommend" or "similar videos" links in the side bar. To such an extent that some have said they create "click bait" titles and descriptions for initial release to get the extra ranking score from the YT algorithm then change it later to something much more honest and descriptive when the views/votes etc take over in the rankings.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      1) As I've already posted here, I'd pay for youtube if their UI and generally usability were half-way decent, and they didn't keep removing options and dumbing things down.

      2) Many of the adverts are actually illegal.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "BTW I'm sure a bunch of you won't have noticed how the free site theregister.com has adverts all of its pages because you use an Ad blocker in your browser."

      In my case, uBlock Origin and Ghostery are disabled for El Reg domains. I still don't see ads though. Probably because I still use NoScript. If that happens to block the ads, then it's because I don't trust 3rd party scripts from random ad providers and it's up to them to find a way to present the ads without using scripts or to deliver them from one of El Regs own domains (making them responsible for any malware delivered from said domains). In the case of El reg, I'd pay for a guaranteed ad-free site visit, but they don't provide that option.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        I'm in a similar situation for this site. I don't block ads per se, but do block 3rd party ad brokers.

        I too would like to financially reward El Reg some way, but I'm not going to open up to third party ads, despite the inconvenience for websites to doing it in house.

        I'd be happy for some El-Reg sponsored ads.. In fact, they are more likely to be for something I'm interested in.... A fact lost today on ad brokers.

        As a slight aside, I just realise, in the "good old days" I have indeed seen adverts, clicked on them, and bought stuff. I don't think that has ever happened since.

        The difference? The ads were targeted against the subject of the article, not the fact that I bought a new washing machine 4 weeks ago.

        And before the accusations of freeloader pile in, last week I donated 100 euros to an open source program that I use often, that has saved me money. The "honour" system isn't broken because of cheapskate users, but because of arshole providers.

  12. earl grey

    i think they're hilarious

    considering how many of the folks i follow on a regular basis on youbutt have been cut off from their regular earnings or regularly unsubscribed from various feeds i think it's downright funny that they (and their onerous handiwork) are whinging about me using an adblocker. sux to be them.

  13. sarusa Silver badge
    Devil

    Real ad blockers seem to be okay

    There was a while where they seemed to be actively going after real adblockers like uBlock Origin, so you'd have to update your rules every day or so for a month, but it's been over a month since I've even seen a hiccup with that.

  14. b1k3rdude

    Cat and Mouse, Wack-a-mole, Seen it all before. Its like they aren't aware that other web browsers and platforms exist, that they have zero control over...All this will do is result developers finding other-ways to circumvent their banal ads.

    I don't for a second believe Google give a flying f**k about the creators, Its greed pure and simple (as demonstrated by several commentors in this thread). If YT Red, or YT Premium or what ever the hell they rename it to next, had a single fair annual price, I would probably have it. But when its more than what Netflix charge, they can f**k right off. Its almost like they think YT is in the same leage as Netflix.

    Here is an idea, maybe have a 1080p YT-only plan (no music, or any of the other useless crap we don't need/want) for £35 per year.... But I digress, Netflix and prime are also on the greed train with basic teirs being infected with Ads.

    Or maybe they will just keep going down the path they are on and then at some specific point, when the views have dropped far enough, Alphabet will just do what they have always done and shutter yet another service.

  15. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    If you can't block them, report them.

    In the UK, as I read the rules, Youtube is subject to OfCom's rules on advertising.

    Watch advert lengths compared to the "programme" lengths. The maximum time according to OfCom rule 1.1.2B is 12 minutes per hour of delivery (15 seconds per minute of actual video). Any more than that and they can be reported for violation of broadcasting rules. As they are basically insisting on advertising ("monetisation") during the video to keep the algorithm happy, this could be argued to be part of that 12 minutes per hour so should be added to the obvious advertising streams ... get your stopwatches out!

    ITV X streaming is currently getting reported over this as (for instance) their "news service" may often deliver 1.5minutes of advert before a 1 minute article ...

    Reporting may or may not be a waste of effort but it feels like putting a dent in their armour ...

    1. Not Yb Bronze badge

      Re: If you can't block them, report them.

      They hardly, if ever, go over that 12 minutes rule.

      The issue is the ads themselves are frequently utter junk (watch 'other show' on same streaming network, buy our car insurance, go to this 'not at all a scam' scam website, subscribe to YouTube Premium to avoid ads).

      Or my current "favorite" which is PBS Passport advertising subscribing to PBS Passport on PBS Passport. Own goal? Hahaha.

  16. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    What is the legal situation here?

    Is any web application legally allowed to interrogate a users machine to identify running software, potentially report back and store that information and then take actions based on that report?

    That feels like a basic invasion of privacy unless the user has given express consent for that application to perform such a search.

    I feel if I wrote an app that interrogates you machine and reported its content to www.an.other.com there would be a crowd with pitchforks outside my door ... and rightly so. It feels wrong that YT, as a delivery service, should even be able to identify such apps running downstream, however close they are to the browser ...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What is the legal situation here?

      This is why Google and related "services" pop up a Ts&Cs every so often, especially if they have changed, and make you scroll down and press OK. Not reading them but still clicking OK is legally good enough to say you accepted the Ts&Cs.

      I'm not defending Google here, there's plenty to blame them for, but the Ts&Cs banner/acceptance seems to be legally sound. (IANAL, if you don't believe me, pay for proper legal advice on this matter :-))

  17. jmch Silver badge

    What bullshit

    "...don’t allow third-party apps to turn off ads because that prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and Ads on YouTube help support creators ..."

    The vast majority of content creators get the square root of eff-all, since there is a minimum number of views / subscribers needed to monetise a channel

  18. Mishak Silver badge

    Paying for ad free

    I my real problem with this is the amount of support information that is only available through tutorials on YouTube (e.g. ST's "how to use this chip" videos).

    Why the hell should I pay to view this sort of content ad free? Maybe it's time for some of these companies to make their content available through other platforms. Or can they be published "ad free"?

  19. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

    I simply avoid YouTube. Have for years. Sound quality is absolutely terrible with all the compression to make room for video bandwidth...

  20. Zibob Bronze badge

    As always, my complaint isn't with being advertised to, its the ineffectual use of that advertising.

    It would be easy to instead of probing me for my interests in nasty ways, you instead monitor your own site, in the capacity that it is used. Which is watching videos.

    Based on that alone I should be getting FAR more varied ads, but no, I get ads, for skin cream and make up, and women's car insurance, and this is about as far from the content I view as is possible.

    They run the site, they have the metrics, they refuse to use that information properly and thus I refuse to play the game.

    Further from that again is the mindboggling idea that advertisers pay to have their ads shown to relevant interests. That must be billions wasted on advertising products that are not only not relevant, but in more than a few cases legally impossible for me to take advantage of. Accountants get bent out of shape over paperclips, but will fire hose money at Google to serve ads that are wasting money for not even a slim chance at my business, but nothing, no possible gain for the company being advertised for. But its never even mentioned in accounting, it just go into the anomalous hole of "advertising" on the budget.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      I keep getting ads for a newborn baby centre in Cardiff.

      I don't have anything remotely like a newborn baby, and have never visited any site that would imply that I have!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Yeah, but do you live in or near Cardiff? If so, then you *might* create a baby at some stage in the future or tell your friends and family about the amazing new born baby facilities in Cardiff :-)

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Happy

          Good point! I actually live about 50 miles away, in Swansea.

          Damn, they're clever.... All of a sudden I feel broody!

      2. Not Yb Bronze badge

        I bought baby wipes from Amazon, because toilet paper was so scarce not long ago... For the next year, Amazon kept asking me how old my new baby was, so they could offer deals appropriately.

        If they think they've got a target, they'll fire ads at it, even if they're totally mistaken.

    2. Not Yb Bronze badge

      Some corporate officer long ago mentioned that "half of the money spent on advertising is wasted, but the problem is we can't tell which half".

  21. TangoWhisky

    YouTube Ad Blocking

    Obviously, there is a demand for ad-free viewing of YouTube videos by those who don't want to pay a subscription fee for the privilege of an ad-free experience. But wouldn't the compromise be having the ads on the YouTube Channel page rather than playing before the YouTube video? Is it about time that businesses realize that ads can be annoying instead of enticing? Maybe some people switch off after a while when bombarded with so many ads. Another compromise could be a link to a business with a brief description of the business at the bottom of the video that could appear for a few seconds."

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Not Yb Bronze badge

    Good friend of mine was enjoying YouTube, and started getting more and more ads with less and less content. He finally mentioned that to me, and I pointed out that there are good adblockers that work to remove ads (for Firefox, Chrome, and I'm sure other browsers). He finally got over the "this extension will have permission to read and modify content on all websites" warning and installed it.

    He hasn't quite gotten to the point of also installing "sponsorblock" which crowdsources ad skipping from creator sponsored videos, but that's probably happening eventually.

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