YouTube is testing up to 10 unskippable ads before videos

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 16, 2022
Youtube
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If you are still using YouTube, you may have been hit with an increase in unskippable advertisement recently. Up until now, YouTube viewers saw up to two so-called unskippable ads before the selected video. Now, YouTube is testing an increase to 5, 7, 8 or even 10 ads before the actual video.

youtube unskippable ad

Unskippable ads are shown before videos. Unlike other advertisement on YouTube, these ads are shorter and can't be skipped. YouTube may display other ad types, including longer ads, which viewers may skip after five seconds of watching.

Unskippable ads have a play time of six seconds each. Having to sit through 5, 7 or even 10 of these ads increases the ad viewing time up to 500%. In seconds, the viewing time goes up from 12 seconds to 30, 42 or even 60 seconds, before the selected video starts to play.

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YouTube revealed on Twitter that the increase would only happen with a specific ad format, called bumper ads.

hmm...this may happen with a certain type of ad format called bumper ads, since they're only up to 6 seconds long. if you'd like, you can send feedback directly from YouTube via the send feedback tool

Serving more advertisement on YouTube increases revenue on the platform significantly. Google is aware that the majority of users won't just leave the site for another, as content may not be available on alternatives. Unless creators move to another platform in masses, YouTube is more or less free to do as it pleases on the site without having to fear major repercussions.

An increase in ads on the site serves another purposes: users who are fed up with advertisement may subscribe to YouTube Premium, a paid subscription, to get rid of them. YouTube Premium is available for $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year in the United States; this is a lot, especially when compared to streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix (Basic) or Amazon Prime Video, which are all available for less.

What YouTube viewers can do about it

On desktop, installing a content blocker such as uBlock Origin, may help get rid of the majority of advertisement on the platform. Some browsers, such as Brave, include content blockers, which may also deal with the majority of ads on the platform.

On mobile, browsers that include content blocking functionality, like Brave or Microsoft Edge, may do the job. Dedicated clients for YouTube like NewPipe or Revanced are another option.

Here is another tip: don't use Chrome.

There are plenty of ways to support content creators on YouTube and elsewhere. Some tools come with options to turn off content blocking for specific channels, but there are other ways, such as donating.

Now You: do you spend time on YouTube? Do you endure ads or use tools to skip them?

Summary
Article Name
YouTube is testing up to 10 unskippable ads before videos
Description
YouTube is running tests on the site currently that increase the number of unskippable ads that are shown before videos to up to 10.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Marek said on September 16, 2022 at 7:08 am
    Reply

    If you are still using YouTube? :D A strange statement. Is there anyone in the world who functions normally and doesn’t use YouTube?

    1. Andy Prough said on September 16, 2022 at 7:37 am
      Reply

      I haven’t visited youtube in years. At least 3 years, maybe longer.

    2. Anonymous said on September 16, 2022 at 11:18 am
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      I do use YouTube, but not through the official site. On browser I use one of the many invidious instances that allow me to consume videos from YouTube without any of the heavy tracking that the website does. It also completely eliminates certain functionality embedded in the videos, such as popup cards that link to other videos and, of course, ads.

      On mobile, I use NewPipe, and on Desktop FreeTube.

    3. Tachy said on September 17, 2022 at 12:06 am
      Reply

      That you think people need youtube, “to function normally”, is very sad.

    4. archie bald said on September 17, 2022 at 4:44 am
      Reply

      DuckDuckgo plays YT videos in its own interface. It’s quite transparent and rarely fails, if ever. That’s my major tool for YT videos, VLC being another useful one.

      I sometimes use YT webpages to get some feedback in comments: some content is so offensive that I have* to read through some real life reactions. In this case, the browser takes care of ads and tracking. I try to stay away from it, otherwise; it really is a major drag.

      The day I have to sit through a single ad will be the day the whole site is blacklisted.

      This being said, my life was fine before YT and will be long after they’re gone; good riddance. I’m pretty sure a human being can function normally without this evil.

    5. Robert said on September 17, 2022 at 5:15 pm
      Reply

      FreeTube for Windows blocks ads and I use it for 95% of my subscriptions.

  2. NeonRobot said on September 16, 2022 at 7:09 am
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    For God sake please use NewPipe Sponsor block on Android and Ublock on PC to get rid of them all.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2022 at 7:58 am
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      Addendum: And if you have an Android TV or a Fire TV, there is SmartTubeNext as well, which is also blocking ads:

      https://github.com/yuliskov/SmartTubeNext

    2. Plants said on September 16, 2022 at 10:13 am
      Reply

      NewPipe is an ancient-looking app with very questionable design decisions and development practices.

      Either use a modern frontend (e.g. LibreTube), patch the official YouTube app with revanced, use the mobile website in Brave (surprisingly usable) or (IMO the best option) use an RSS reader of choice in conjunction with mpv-android.

      1. thebrowser said on September 16, 2022 at 11:20 am
        Reply

        > NewPipe is an ancient-looking app with very questionable design decisions and development practices.

        I’m very interested in knowing more about how did you arrive to these conclusions?

      2. Plants said on September 17, 2022 at 12:38 am
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        thebrowser,

        I arrived at these conclusions by using it, browsing their github repo and comparing it to the competition.

      3. thebrowser said on September 17, 2022 at 10:24 am
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        @Plants,

        Would you mind pointing out a few of those issues more specifically?

      4. NeonRobot said on September 16, 2022 at 1:02 pm
        Reply

        I dont need google login to leave comments, which are prone to deletion.

  3. zircon said on September 16, 2022 at 7:33 am
    Reply

    I use uBO and “Enhancer for Youtube” (both FF extensions), and I can’t recall the last time I saw an ad on YouTube.

  4. Andy Prough said on September 16, 2022 at 7:47 am
    Reply

    From the article:
    >”Unless creators move to another platform in masses, YouTube is more or less free to do as it pleases on the site without having to fear major repercussions.”

    Every creator I was following on youtube started hosting their content on odysee and/or rumble quite a long time ago. The only one who was stubbornly staying on youtube is a Russian rock band called ‘Leonid and Friends’, so I watch their songs with the invidious redirect websites or with Newpipe, or by streaming them through mpv.

    I can’t remember if Rumble has ads. It might, but they probably don’t make it past my ad-blocker. Odysee does not have any ads that I’ve seen. The invidious redirect sites strip out the ads. Newpipe strips out the ads. Streaming through mpv strips out the ads.

  5. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2022 at 8:04 am
    Reply

    10 ads before the actual video starts playing? Good graces, this will get even the most normie of normies thinking, I believe. It will become unbearable to a degree where, despite the introduction of Manifest V3, people will look for powerful adblocking solutions, e.g. what Brave or uBlock Origin on Firefox deliver today. Or perhaps look for another platform altogether – of the alternatives, I think Odysee could well be the chosen one. Their content is diversified enough to give YouTube an actual challenge, the other platforms are too political in nature as of now (in terms of the overall content offered, I mean).

  6. Alex said on September 16, 2022 at 8:14 am
    Reply

    The quicker people move to alt tech, the better… for a variety of reasons.

    1. Mike said on September 16, 2022 at 3:50 pm
      Reply

      But then, the entrenched big monopolistic tech companies will just buy them and either run their platform into the ground via bad/malicious business decisions, or shut them down.

  7. Techno said on September 16, 2022 at 8:35 am
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    I conceded defeat and took out a subscription as I got fed up with the adverts, although I agree it is too expensive. I can console myself that I am helping to fund the content makers directly, according to YouTube’s help pages.

    The Brave browser blocks adverts on my desktop, but unfortunately I watch it a lot on a Roku box and there is no straightforward way of blocking adverts on that as far as I know.

    If enough creators jump ship to an alternative I will quite happily go with them.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2022 at 8:54 am
      Reply

      @Techno

      As I’ve mentioned in a comment above, there is SmartTubeNext ( https://github.com/yuliskov/SmartTubeNext ), but for that you need an Android TV (Sony, Philips), Nvidia Shield, an Amazon Fire TV device or a Chromecast. No solution for Roku other than paying for YouTube Premium from what I gather. You need to consider though, YouTube Premium is $120 per year… That’s more than the price of e.g. 1 x Fire TV Cube even when it’s not on sale. It’s not worth it to pay for YouTube Premium IMHO.

  8. Anonymous said on September 16, 2022 at 9:07 am
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    There is no worst ads than the one Amazon made for Twitch, you either get the ad or a screen telling you should turn it off if not the video doesn’t play, which affected embedded.

    This doesn’t look as bad, right now the only way to avoid Twitch ads is to load a custom script in uBlock. Brave has an issue opened to do the same, but besides that there are only more insecured ways to avoid ads like using extensions that connect to a proxy.

    If people created scripts to avoid Twitch ads and it works most of the time, this will be okay, of course for people who don’t use adblocker or youtube apps on phone and tvs will suck but someday most people will use adblockers or a browser that blocks ads instead of Chrome.

    Eventually all these ads will push people away rather than wanting to whitelist pages where you will get 1000 ads.

  9. g. said on September 16, 2022 at 9:36 am
    Reply

    I block all ads using uBO and Vanced + I always use Sponsorblock to get rid of the annoying VPN and other garbage sales pitches, but I felt bad for the creators, so I also got YouTube Premium. It’s only 5€ where I live, so it’s not that bad, and I do watch YouTube a lot, so I do feel like it’s worth it.

  10. Bobo said on September 16, 2022 at 10:38 am
    Reply

    You know..I wouldn’t mind watching one ad maybe once a day if that meant some very USEFUL YouTube content creator would get ad-revenue.. but to be absolutely bombarded to shreds with ads so that the uselessforhumanity-already-millionaire-youtube-GARBAGE CONTENT CREATORS will get even richer..ummm? I’m thinking no.

  11. Lemegeton said on September 16, 2022 at 10:50 am
    Reply

    Manifest V3 and 5-10 unskippable ADs now. I Know What You Did There, google.

  12. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2022 at 11:06 am
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    All YouTube channels, videos (including embedded), playlists are accessed via Piped [https://piped.kavin.rocks/]. Fast, clean, with most interesting options [https://piped.kavin.rocks/preferences] including SponsorBlock.
    I haven’t visited YouTube for some time now. No intention to.

    Concerning these YouTube unskippable ads, not 1, not 2 but up to 10, in testing stage, looks like Google is loosing its nerves. An immediate analogy pops up in my mind, with an invader’s president facing an invaded country’s resistance. Google is undoubtedly capitalism’s major dictator. Odd in a so-called free world as if freedom applied to the right to dictate.

    More generally and as always, increasingly even, the ad business aims force-feeding, not seduction, not explanation, not dialog but force-feeding by all means. More resistance it faces tougher it gets. Unskippable ads may very well be only the beginning of a long crusade against consumers who are getting increasingly aware of ad related tracking and increasingly fed-up with the business’ higher bids.

    1. Bonzo said on September 16, 2022 at 1:42 pm
      Reply

      This shows ZERO youtube videos for me. ZERO search results. ZERO everything. It probably doesn’t like my uBlock origin settings or my hosts file. Which means this site is useless and has it’s own set of fishy behaviour.

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2022 at 5:52 pm
        Reply

        @Bonzo, what site are you referring to, [https://piped.kavin.rocks/] ? It’s been re configuring itself thse last 24hrs but stands no fishy behavior as far as I’ve been experiencing it for several months now.

        Maybe a clash with uBO settings?

        In your uBO / Dashboard / My rules be sure to add (without the [] of course, needed here to display correctly] :

        [ * kavin.rocks * noop ]
        [ piped.kavin.rocks * 3p noop ]
        [ piped-docs.kavin.rocks cloudflare-ipfs.com * noop ]

        The third is for [https://piped-docs.kavin.rocks/docs/] and may be required if you’ve set uBO to strict.

        Otherwise, if the culprit is within your HOSTS file, then you’ll have to dig that by your own I’m afraid.

        Hope that helps.

      2. Bonzo said on September 16, 2022 at 11:16 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        I stand corrected, it now works like expected. They were in some maintenance mode or something..? Thank you for the initial suggestion and for the reply, I had no idea this even existed. Does this have anything to do with the way NewPipe shows YouTube on Android, seeing that there’s “pipe” in the name?

      3. Yash said on September 17, 2022 at 9:17 am
        Reply

        @Bonzo

        If I’m not wrong(okay I’m wrong most of the time) Newpipe predates Piped.

      4. Tom Hawack said on September 17, 2022 at 9:46 am
        Reply

        @Bonzo, great! Yes, there has been what you may call maintenance or re-configuration of [https://piped.kavin.rocks/]. Now it’s OK as I experience it, as you confirm it.

        I have no idea about any relationship with NewPipe/YouTube/Android because Android for me is an E.T. : I use but a plain mobile phone, no smartphone…

  13. ECJ said on September 16, 2022 at 11:47 am
    Reply

    Consumers are the frog; Google is the scorpion.

  14. 5k0f e agent/shpionin na usa said on September 16, 2022 at 3:03 pm
    Reply

    You have become too addicted to Youtube!

    I suggest that Youtube put so many ads before the desired video to watch that users need an hour in advance to play the video and while users wait for that time, do something else during that time! (Sarcasm)

    1. Bazooka said on September 17, 2022 at 1:23 pm
      Reply

      Addicted is not the word, dependent is. There is no other choice. It’s now too late to skip to Vimeo or something else because 99.99999999999999999999999999% of the videos on YouTube will NOT switch to other services.. So were left to battle against Google with adblockers, host file entries, cookie blockers and NewPipe etc on android if we don’t want to be molested by Google all the time.

  15. Mike said on September 16, 2022 at 3:44 pm
    Reply

    They’re gonna do what Amazon did. I.e. Degrade the quality and service of their free tier to make it unappealing and get more people to subscribe.

    Today if you order from Amazon without Prime, then your order will sit in a queue for at least a week, in order to make sure that you don’t get it in three days. It didn’t used to be this way. There was a period where you could order, choose free delivery, and get it in three days. Yes, without Prime. Capitalism and the free market fixed that.

    1. vanp said on September 18, 2022 at 1:33 am
      Reply

      Mike:

      I ordered something from Amazon on Monday, Labor Day, a holiday. Amazon originally said I would get it Friday. Then it sent me an email saying I would get it Wednesday. Got it 2 days later, Wednesday. No Prime.

      1. vanp said on September 18, 2022 at 1:35 am
        Reply

        I did pay shipping, if that makes you feel better.

  16. The Chef said on September 16, 2022 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    Google services is like eating soup with a rock.

  17. Coriy said on September 16, 2022 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    I have only, very rarely, seen these unskippable ads. I think that’s due to a combination of UBlock Origin and AdBlock for YouTube. On the rare occasion and ad does show, I usually just shut down the browser and reload.
    Yes, I shut down the browser on a regular basis.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2022 at 6:46 pm
      Reply
  18. Bindere Dundat said on September 16, 2022 at 5:19 pm
    Reply

    It’s interesting that the choice of YouTube ads chosen as an example for this article is what I consider to be possibly the FILTHIEST of the filthy ad sponsors. Producing a product specifically for morons and imbeciles.

  19. Paul(us) said on September 16, 2022 at 5:43 pm
    Reply

    On the iPad, there is a trick:
    If I just click on a video, I always get an advertisement for the YouTube video, but if I right-click on the thumbnail and then “open in new tab” I don’t get an advertisement

    1. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2022 at 6:36 pm
      Reply

      @Paul(us)

      I have an even better trick for you:

      https://apps.apple.com/au/app/wipr/id1030595027

      This works for all YouTube links no matter the tab, as long as the YouTube app is not installed – if the YouTube app is installed and you click on a YouTube link, you are automatically forwarded to it and no adblocking is possible within the app.

      Also, check out Invidious:

      https://docs.invidious.io/instances/

      You can bookmark Invidious and put the bookmark on your homescreen. Invidious is a private YouTube frontend without ads and can serve you well if you know that you are going to YouTube (instead of spontaneously clicking a link).

      1. Paul(us) said on September 16, 2022 at 11:29 pm
        Reply

        Merci @Iron Heart, I am going to explore your advice.

  20. Haakon said on September 16, 2022 at 8:57 pm
    Reply

    YouTube content is but a sliver of my online media activity, limited to links in news articles and some tasteless garbage now and then. Otherwise, I enjoy five subscriptions unavailable in any other streamer, like Rumble.

    The AdGuard extension works in Firefox on my laptop and for my PC’s 32″ 4K monitor. The licensed AdGuard for Android app on my two google devices (a 10″ tablet and a “phone”) work A-OK when I want to squint. How I pity those who choose watch movies and sports on a Pop-Tart no matter how good the display hardware is. Or are forced to do so by economic and/or social convention, the tiny device being the only “computer” they’ll ever know… humanity’s least common denominator.

    My subscriptions stream on my glorious QLED Roku TV being stuck with the YouTube “channel,” an app by any other measure, an hour or so a week of viewing. No, I’m not interested in an alternative app.

    The ads don’t bother me much and I use the “skip ads” for big-biz entities and public service ads thrown at me 100’s and 100’s of times (that windshield replacement outfit, prescription drugs, anti-vap, etc. etc. etc.). And the YouTube millionaires.

    A few of the unskippables have shown up and some are so fast I can hardly tell what’s being advertised let alone how to follow up (URL, phone number). Right now, the election season ads practically shift me into a throw-shoe-at-screen mode.

    On that $11.99 for Premium, if I recall correctly, 4K is additional $$.

    Finally, I pay for YouTube TV. One should be able to view YouTube, at the very least, for a discount. Say, a buck 99 a month. As well, why the heck can’t the latter stream in the former? I inquired with them back when I signed up for TV and was informed the contents are on cough-cough-ahem “different” platforms, even though a handful of YouTube MSM news channels are available in YouTube TV.

    Hey, it’s google. What do you expect?

    1. tony k said on September 19, 2022 at 1:57 pm
      Reply

      You must be a total idiot to pay for youtube tv.

  21. Sebas said on September 16, 2022 at 11:07 pm
    Reply

    I use Brave to block adds on Youtube. I also used uBo, but disabled it, since manifest v3 will come. Brave on my desktop in aggressive mode, plus the recommended subscriptions in content filters blocks all trackers and adverts on Youtube.

  22. Tim said on September 17, 2022 at 9:38 am
    Reply

    Two adds in succession – I can live with it. With ten watching Youtube will be unbearable, esp if you watch shorter videos. Authors, maybe it’s time to rethink your choices and send your content not only to Youtube but to sane alternatives too.

  23. Three-toed said on September 17, 2022 at 4:52 pm
    Reply

    I’m a heavy Youtube user…like it tremendously EXCEPT for the buffering crapshoot on vids which drives me nuts, though I have my own workarounds for that.
    I use Adguard and can’t recall ever seeing any ads on YT.

  24. TelV said on September 18, 2022 at 12:48 pm
    Reply

    Click SHARE below the video and checkmark “Start At” and add 60 seconds (10 ads x 6 seconds per ad) to the timer to skip 10 ads.

    You can also add “#t=1m10s” (without quotes) to the end of the URL to start the video 1 minute and 10 seconds later to take care of the ads at the beginning.

  25. KERR said on September 19, 2022 at 1:44 am
    Reply

    You should mention Firefox for Android as well, since it supports extensions like uBlock. Also the NewPipe android app is great.

  26. ryuk said on September 19, 2022 at 3:56 pm
    Reply

    This is the way! :)

    https://greasyfork.org/en/help

  27. BM said on September 19, 2022 at 4:39 pm
    Reply

    There doesn’t seem to be a great workaround for Roku.

    Instead, whenever there is an unskippable ad longer than 6 seconds, I just back out of the video.

    If we all actually did this, essentially we’d be training the ad server algo. It would be very clear what users will tolerate, and they’d accommodate accordingly.

    It is not like we are watching linear TV and are forced to wait. Most vids are short, and there is an equally entertaining video to be consumed next (thanks to the YT algo).

    For longer ones, I have no problem coming back to them later (and – surprise! – the long unskippable ad is no longer there).

    BTW, I’ve started watching YT vids – more variety and some rather interesting long vids vs streaming services like Netflix.

    Plus, the algo for streaming services seem to be rather dumb. Often showing movies we already watched, and shows we’ve passed over many times already – i.e. they seem to have a limited rotation. Annoyingly, they over-emphasize their newest content to the detriment of good, but older content.

    Huge libraries, but they only tepidly tailor their offerings and their search is fairly rudimentary.

  28. Anonymous said on September 20, 2022 at 11:51 pm
    Reply

    This is the only reason Google wants to replace manifest v2 with their inferior v3. As long as AdGuard personal is operational, they can screw off with their ads.

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