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YouTube Looks to Crack Down on Ad-Free 3rd Party Apps

YouTube Blocks 3rd party apps

YouTube will continue its “enforcement” of ad-blocking techniques that allow users to watch their favorite videos and more without interruptions.

This time, the company plans to clamp down on 3rd party applications that provide a YouTube experience but without the annoying advertisements we are used to seeing on the official platform.

In an announcement made on the Community Support Page, details of the latest crack-down appear to target “third-party apps that violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, specifically ad-blocking apps.”

In all likelihood, this means that popular replica clients or forks of the application such as ReVanced, SmartTube, and NewPipe will be in the crosshairs of YouTube and their latest enforcement efforts.

This isn’t the first time we have seen these applications under attack as YouTube previously shut down the Vanced App which was a free YouTube platform for Android phones and tablets.

Their latest efforts, however, seem to be pointed more at the users of these applications as noted in the Community Update announcement.

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. We want to emphasize that our terms 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 and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service.

As you can see, those who use these 3rd party applications may encounter streaming issues such as buffering or blocking of access entirely.

This is all part of their push to get more sign-ups for YouTube Premium which provides an ad-free YouTube experience for $13.99/month. The company states:

We also understand that some people prefer an entirely ad-free experience, which is why we offer YouTube Premium.

Last year, the platform began ramping up efforts to block ad-blockers with similar protocols that prompted users to disable ad-blockers such as AdBlock, Adblock Plus, and UBlock Origin, to watch their preferred content.

Ad-blockers violate YouTube’s API Services Terms of Service and these 3rd party applications fall under these guidelines as well.

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.

It will be interesting to see how these tactics are enforced and if this will be the demise of these popular apps used by millions across the world. You can find the announcement from YouTube at their support page below.

Enforcement on Third Party Apps – YouTube Announcement

If you are an ad-free YouTube user, let us know if you have come across issues with these applications. Drop a comment in the comment section below!

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for Miki Miki says:

    I just started using an ad blocker that ProtonVPN integrated into their options and I’ve noticed many sites blocking me from using them with a popup stating they see I have an ad blocker and asking me to turn it off to support the site. So looks like a lot of sites and apps are blocking the blockers. :joy: Thanks, as always, for looking out for your fan base Troy.

  2. Hey Miki just an FYI I use Adguard and Adblock and not having any problems with any blocking with YouTube or elsewhere. Just thought I’d let you know. I use Youtube every day.

  3. Brave browser still as smooth as ever so whatever they’re doing is failing and for the phone one option I don’t think they will ever stop is new pipe app think that will always be an ad free mobile app option even if all the other ways go away.

  4. Avatar for Miki Miki says:

    Tx @MarkxG for the info. I never use youtube. Anywhere I can it, and netflix, are disabled.

  5. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    I use YouTube on my computer for how to fix cars and things around the house. I have a lot of problems with ad s on websites that will not allow me to use my ad blocker more than youtube. Course my ad blocker doesn’t work on YouTube. I have Adblock real good for websites but not too good on YouTube for what I got. You got to remember guys this is how they make their money just like the ads you see on any other forums or websites.

  6. A few Months ago I had problems with my Adblocker not working on YouTube on my PC with Chrome Browser. I was using Adblock. I then Added Adguard as well and now with both of them turned on I no longer see any ads or the popups saying “using an adblocker will prevent you from seeing videos” I use youtube every day. Try adding Adguard

  7. Avatar for JPM69 JPM69 says:

    Smarttube had an update yesterday. I wonder if this is why?

    Does YT know i am using ST if i logged into my YT account with ST?

  8. I watched some stuff on Smarttube last night and didn’t have any issues. I think that I noticed that there was an update available but I haven’t updated yet. I might just hold off on the update.

  9. On the Onn device that had it already it plays fine, and I did update the app. But earlier this month when setting up a new Onn device, playprotect I think keeps blocking the install. I haven’t retried with the latest update since yesterday…

  10. Smart Tube is still working on my Shield TV at least for now.

  11. I had a real issue with ST 2wks ago - it just stopped playing all videos, just got a black screen and the ‘loading’ screen. I thought maybe YT had finally got around to disabling it somehow. The recent update seems to have fixed it though.

  12. I have been using smarttube for months. No issues with buffering or no content. I use all the adblockers I can find as well as Surfshark VPN Cleanweb turned on.

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