• YouTube is considering server-side ad injection as part of its battle with ad blockers.
  • This move is expected to lead to complex problems and less-than-desirable results.
  • Learn what this move by YouTube means to the company and the viewers.

YouTube has been battling ad blockers for a few years now. On the one hand, the platform has been trying to push free-tier audiences towards Premium subscription plans if they want to stop seeing ads. On the other hand, viewers have constantly used ad blockers to block ads they find intrusive. However, YouTube is now considering server-side ad injection, possibly leading to complex problems and overall undesirable results.

In 2022, YouTube ran YouTube Vanced, which leveraged file streams for content uploaded to the platform to give the audience a familiar but ad-free UI. However, newer implementations like ReVanced modify the default application to enable the same Premium features, including ad-blocking. A crowd-sourced and automated sponsor segment skipping and an additional component, SponsorBlock, help achieve this.

The component relies on viewers identifying sponsor segments in videos and flagging them in a shared repository so that others can skip these reported segments. However, Google’s attempt to deter ad blockers may hamper the seemingly well-oiled operation. A post by SponsorBlock on X said that YouTube is trying out server-side ad injection.