YouTube has started testing a version of its website that is incompatible with ad-blocking plugins, officials with the service confirmed this week.
The affirmation came after several people began receiving messages from YouTube warning them that the website is incompatible with browsers that have ad-blocking plugins enabled. A moderator with the YouTube community confirmed the message was legitimate, and said a Google employee told them it was part of an experiment that affected some users.
YouTube generates the majority of its revenue through advertisements, including short commercial videos that play before a YouTube video and in the middle of some of its longer videos. The experiment in which YouTube prevents users with ad-blocking software from viewing videos comes as the service struggles with a declining advertising market, which has impacted its revenue.
Streamers who want commercial-free access to YouTube have the option to pay $12 a month or $120 a year for YouTube Premium, which also allows users to download YouTube videos for offline viewing and includes free access to YouTube Music.