If you’re still using YouTube, you may have recently been hit by a surge in ads.
So far, YouTube users have seen up to two so-called unclickable ads before starting the selected video. Now, YouTube is testing an increase to 5, 7, 8 or even 10 ads before the actual video.
Unclosed ads are shown before the videos. Unlike other YouTube ads, these ads are shorter and can’t be skipped. YouTube may display other types of ads, including longer ads that viewers can skip after five seconds of viewing.
Unwatched ads have a playback time of six seconds each. The fact that users have to skip through 5, 7 or even 10 of these ads increases ad viewing time by up to 500%. In a matter of seconds, viewing time increases from 12 seconds to 30, 42 or even 60 seconds before the selected video starts playing.
Only certain types of ads are affected
YouTube revealed on Twitter that this increase would only occur with a certain ad format, called flash ads.
Serving more ads on YouTube significantly increases revenue on the platform. Google is aware that most users won’t leave the site for another because the content may not be available for alternatives. Unless creators move to another platform en masse, YouTube is more or less free to do what it wants on the site without fear of major repercussions.
An increase in ads on the site serves another purpose: users fed up with ads can subscribe to YouTube Premium, a paid subscription, to get rid of them.
On the desktop, installing an adblocker, such as uBlock Origin, can help remove most ads from the platform.
On mobile, browsers that include content-blocking functionality, such as Brave or Microsoft Edge, can get the job done. Dedicated YouTube clients like NewPipe or Revanced are another option.