YouTube’s crackdown on ad blockers is hurting the companies who make them. Multiple ad blocking companies say that thousands of people are uninstalling their products after YouTube started showing warnings to people trying to watch videos on its website with ad blockers enabled.
One of the companies, AdGuard, told Wired that more than 11,000 people have uninstalled its Chrome extension each day since October 9, compared to 6,000 uninstallations per day before YouTube implemented the change. On October 18, 52,000 people uninstalled AdGuard, the company’s CTO Andrey Meshkov told Wired. However, installations of AdGuard’s paid version, which YouTube’s crackdown doesn’t affect, went up.
Another ad blocking company, Ghostery, said that its usage was flat in October as it experienced three to five times the daily number of installs as well as uninstalls. Notably, the company said that more than 90 percent of its users who completed a survey about why they uninstalled the product said they did so because the tool no longer worked with YouTube.
Since YouTube’s crackdown only seems to affect people who access its website through Chrome on laptops and desktops, some users also tried to use other browsers as a workaround. Ghostery told Wired that its installations of Microsoft’s Edge browser went up by 30 percent in October compared to September.
YouTube ads are increasingly contributing more to Google’s overall revenue. The company sold more than $22 billion in ads on the platform from the beginning of this year through September. But the streaming platform is also trying to push more people to pay for YouTube Premium, which gets rid of ads, lets people download videos, stream videos in higher quality and access YouTube Music. Earlier this year, the company bumped up YouTube Premium’s pricing by $2 to $14 a month.