YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc wants more people to join their YouTube Premium program by paying. And so, to facilitate this, YouTube is currently testing showing users five unskippable ads before a video starts.
YouTube users who are not subscribed to YouTube Premium will receive up to 5 advertisements at the beginning of the video. And although YouTube claims that the ads shown in such spots will be bumper ads or, basically, promotions that are about 6 seconds in length, the reality is that people have seen ads that are longer than 10 seconds.
One user tweeted out, saying they got to see about 11 ads instead of 5.
The news broke out when several of YouTube’s regular or non-premium users started complaining on Twitter and Reddit that they had received five ads instead of 2 before they could watch their YouTube video.
Not all regular YouTube viewers are dealing with the “5 ads before your video starts” situation, so it seems like YouTube is currently testing out the waters among selected users. As of now, most users of YouTube are only receiving up to 2 ads before their video starts, but it is not known whether the 5-ad format change will be rolled out to all non-paying YouTube users soon.
This move may lead regular users towards adblockers and other “cracked” versions of YouTube. YouTube Vanced was one such modified third-party YouTube application for Android that had its ad blocker.
This puts content creators in a precarious position, especially ones who don’t rely on brand deals and sponsorships. By increasing the number of unskippable ads served, YouTube will drive potential viewers away from creators dependent on ads and, ultimately, the platform itself. Moreover, if more people are forced to use adblockers, content creators don’t get paid by Google Adsense.