YouTube is deliberately ‘suboptimal’ for people using ad blockers

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YouTube has admitted to intentionally creating a suboptimal experience for users employing ad blockers.

Reports of a deliberate five-second delay in loading video pages on Mozilla’s Firefox have emerged on forums like Reddit and Hacker News.

Dig deeper: New YouTube ad package helps brands capture cultural, sports moments

Despite initial speculation about browser specificity, YouTube has clarified that users across all platforms may encounter loading delays. This deliberate delay is part of YouTube’s ongoing campaign to discourage the use of ad blockers.

Why we care. Encouraging users to disable ad blockers on YouTube can benefit advertisers by expanding reach. However, this broader reach might increase advertising costs and result in ads reaching less valuable customers, impacting the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. Achieving a balance between reach and targeting is crucial for optimizing return on investment.

Who is impacted? Not everyone is experiencing the reported five-second delay. Attempts by some individuals to recreate the issue on both Mac and Windows machines, while logged into YouTube or not, using ad-blockers or not, and in incognito mode or not, did not result in any observed delay. However, those that are impacted do have ad blockers installed.

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