YouTube Blocks My Ad Blockers But Won’t Let Me Pay for Premium

There are numerous frustrations for someone living in Africa trying to consume media online. Very many platforms never see Africa as worthy. So, you’ll find things like Google’s YouTube Premium offerings, stuff like Apple TV+, Disney+, and many more, not being accessible. If they are available, you will find most of them skip sub-Saharan Africa, serving only Arab countries, or South Africa. I’ve often said on Twitter that it’s pure racism. There’s no other explanation for it, and any of the excuses given by these companies are just that: excuses.

Google’s latest move to block ad blockers on YouTube is a perfect example. Here’s the situation: YouTube is now annoying. Ads have filled up the platform to an extent that you can’t watch anything without pre-rolls and mid-roll ads. So, a solution for many people has been ad blockers. Which – especially as someone who relies on ads on this platform – isn’t fair to creators and to the platform. The way around ad blockers would be for Google to ask people to pay a small fee monthly to block the ads while accessing other perks like Background Play. But YouTube, in its genius, has decided that’s too much to ask of African countries like Kenya.

This has brought about the situation described in the title: No, don’t use ad blockers, and no, we don’t want your money for a premium tier. Happy skipping ads. It’s so frustrating because all it does is discourage consumption of YouTube content. No one wants to keep skipping between ads to watch content. Meanwhile, creators want to keep making money. And YouTube wants more creators to join their platform. Wouldn’t it make sense to encourage people to pay certain premiums that make both the creators, the consumers, and the company happy?

A while back, I found a workaround allowing me to enjoy YouTube ad-free. In Norway, YouTube had this tier called Premium Lite, which basically was an Ad Blocker. So my workaround was a VPN that allowed me to act like I am in Norway and pay for the Premium Lite package. A few weeks ago, that was discontinued, and YouTube gave me one month of full premium. Which isn’t anything, given that all that means is I don’t have ads. All other full benefits of the Premium package can only be accessed if I visit a country with YouTube Premium, or if I constantly have my VPN on.

It makes no sense! It is 2023! Allow people to access stuff. Allow everyone to have the same experience, no matter their location. People are ready to pay. Maybe not a lot of people at once, but slowly, more and more will be encouraged to.

Anyways, maybe we should all move to Rwanda:


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