YouTube Confirms “Appropriate Action” on Third-Party Ad-Blocking Apps in Renewed Crackdown

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YouTube is renewing its crackdown against third-party apps that block in-video ads on the platform. In an announcement on Monday, the company confirmed that it will begin taking “appropriate action” against apps that let viewers watch videos without ads by violating its API services’ terms of service. The video streaming giant also urged viewers to shift to its YouTube Premium subscription plan to get an ad-free experience on the platform. The move comes after the company announced a global crackdown against these apps in November last year.

In a community post, YouTube stated, “We’re strengthening our enforcement on third-party apps that violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, specifically ad-blocking apps. Viewers who are using these third-party apps may experience buffering issues or see the error “The following content is not available on this app” when trying to watch a video.”

The company highlighted that blocking ads on the platform through unfair means prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, as they cannot earn money unless an ad plays for the viewer. This results in lowered monetisation of videos despite high view count. It further added that Ads on YouTube let billions of users across the globe use the streaming platform without paying for it.

Suggesting an alternative, the streaming giant also urged users who seek an ad-free experience on the platform to subscribe to YouTube Premium, the company’s paid plan that also offers other features such as background playback, offline videos, as well as ad-free access to YouTube Music.

Stating that these third-party apps also break the company’s terms of service for API services, the post added, “We only allow third-party apps to use our API when they follow our API Services Terms of Service, and when we find an app that violates these terms, we will take appropriate action to protect our platform, creators, and viewers.”

Currently, YouTube Premium plans in India start at Rs. 79 a month — this option is limited to students. For most users, the base plan is priced at Rs. 129 a month. However, this requires the user to subscribe to a 12-month prepaid plan and make a payment of Rs. 1,290. As a result, the most affordable paid plan for a month will cost users Rs. 139.

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