Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: SponsorBlock – Skip sponsorship segments of YouTube videos (ajay.app)
139 points by ajayyy 55 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 137 comments

I don't agree with this at all.

Sponsored segments are typically produced by, or use the same production values as, the creator who is providing the content you intended to consume. The sponsored segments are an accurate reflection of the content you're consuming and typically do not detract from the overall experience.

Like the normal web ads we see, they are intended to pay the bills of the individual(s) or company that is providing this content to us for free, so they may continue doing so.

By blocking the sponsorships, you're denying them the right to make profit from their work in a manner that doesn't execute unexpected code, intrusively collect your information, or otherwise violate mutual trust.

I don't fully agree with you. There are some channels that do sponsorships well: Jay Foreman, Tom Scott, etc.

There are some that do it terribly: Kursgesagt recently, Wendover productions (I hate deceptive segues), etc.

You can see more about my thoughts on this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20780728

I guess it's a personal choice, but I prefer tracked ads that are properly labeled and not deceptive to integrated sponsorships and product placement any day. The real fear is that an extension like this will encourage even more deceptive and hard to skip sponsors (embeded product placement).

- Developer

I dunno, I find LTT and Wendover’s sponsorship segues to be pretty ham-fisted and obvious. They’re always like, “… and that’s why X is like riding a bike. And speaking of riding bikes…”

EDIT: I think they delibterately do them that way to be charmingly cheesy, and I mostly appreciate it becuase then I always know when to close the video.

This kurzgesagt video is what made me start work on this extension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfgT6zx4k3Q

No mention of sponsor, doesn't say "supported by" accept in the top comment that was added later (not at the beginning). The description one wasn't there originally either.

It literally says "because we want you to have nice things, you can get a 30 day free trial". You can't get more deceptive than that.

- Developer

Kurzgesagt makes wonderful content, but this is not the first time I’ve seen them be called out for dark patterns. There was that YouTuber spat of the refugee crisis and drug addiction videos, where they were accused of covering their butts in an unethical way. Be cool, like your videos, Kurzgesagt!

Yea, that turned out to be mostly the other guy's fault, but yea. That wasn't their first video where they did a sponsor like that, but it was the first I'd seen (I never watched their mars base one for some reason).

Oof, I will say, that particularly kurzgesagt video was pretty bad. I do think kurzgesagt is generally much better than that though.

I agree, this is what made me hit the tipping point however. I love kurzgesagt, they are amazing.

I mean… the description starts with a plug for Dashlane.

That wasn't there I'm pretty sure, and even still, it doesn't say sponsored anywhere, just a plug for it. Yes, it is obvious to us what it is, but to an outsider or child? It is manipulative to those people.

On that note, I miss the time when descriptions were, you know, actual descriptions of the video and not a dumping ground for the exact same trash on every video that nobody cares about like social media, Discord, etc (those things should go in the channel's about page as they are not specific to a single video).

90% of my YouTube "consumption" is on a Roku which doesn't show video descriptions, comments, etc.

Someone has to pay for the content. I don't agree with video ad blocking because it doesn't hinder my experience in the same way that loading and executing 40 tracking.js scripts does. I like to look at even a video like this with the air of, "haha you got me, clever". Also, it makes me remember a legitimate point about the topic.

After browsing through your site I see that you're a kid, and see how you might be inclined to classifying certain creator-narrated-advertising to be amoral. The video you cite has high production quality, with a ton of time put into it's creation. I don't agree with your assessment that the dashlane ad, which is obviously out of place in a video on electromagnetic pollution, can be construed as content versus an ad by the average user, average being the operative word.

You are free to not consume content, but automating revenue stripping en-masse from otherwise high quality content is more unethical than the supposed sketchy advertising tactics.

Unfortunately, you don't walk away from this as the moral victor.

lol okay. And, I was a kid a few days ago, not anymore :)

In my reddit post complaining about this, people there actually thought this was part of the video and one of the "other things people should be worrying about". This isn't some made up thing, people actually do fall for it.

Specifically with LTT, I love how they make it incredibly obvious when something is leading to or coming out of a sponsorship spot. As soon as I hear the trademark pause after the opening, doubletapping the screen to skip 10 seconds or pressing right arrow a couple times on your PC just skips right through the sponsor spot and you don't have to see anything.

ElectroBOOM does the absolute best segues -- makes me laugh every time!

He's whitelisted on mine :)

- Developer

Wendover has the most obvious, telegraphed segues. On top of that, the sponsorship is left at the end of the video. Linus on the other hand I completely agree with.

I haven't watched wendover in over a year since I was sick of his sponsorships, but I remember never knowing when the end of a video was, because the sponsors were part of the same sentence.


What do you mean by intentionally less presentable? Anthony looks the same as in videos. He's not your classical movie model, but he's a member of the staff - he leads almost all the videos with him in the thumbnail. How is that manipulation?

Sorry, I didn’t know his name and my comment seems extra cruel (FWIW I was overweight just as much, once). So I dunno, I feel like they stick the camera up in his face and do a low angle shot. It makes him look odd, which makes you look at the thumbnail. Also, he never smiles in the thumbnails, which adds to the oddness. Finally there was one thumbnail recently where he was bending his neck in a weird way, I don’t like it. Nobody needs to be a movie model, but some basic grooming and presentability is important.

I think it's just shyness/awkwardness. Wendell from L1T used to look the same back when he was part of the TekSyndicate channel. Eventually he sharpened up his appearance and his on-camera demeanor.

LTT does it extremely well. The sponsored section is clearly marked and adds to the experience.

True, I shouldn't have included them in that list, they are edited out now.

I have to disagree about Sam's segues, they're legitimately one of the best parts of Wendover Production's and Half as Interesting's videos. Unless you're paying attention he gets you every time, and suddenly it's like you're back in nineteen ninety eight when the undertaker threw mankind off hеll in a cell, and plummeted sixteen feet through an announcer's table.

> Unless you're paying attention he gets you every time

That's exactly why I dislike them. Ads should be clearly separated from the actual content, visually and audibly, imo.

For me it's like getting Rick Rolled, it's amusing for the same reason a magic trick is amusing.

Yes, but for an outsider not part of the joke, like a child or old person, they don't know about that

I'm sure some people are okay with them, but they drove me to never watch his videos :/

Maybe I will try watching his videos again with this extension, I don't know.

But the issue is that most of the sponsored products are absolute trash. The only legitimate one that I can think of is Squarespace (and even then, I’m already aware of them - does that still make me bad if I skip their sponsored segments despite knowing them already?). But the rest are usually dubious VPN services spreading FUD (no, a VPN does fuck all to your privacy if you still browse while being logged into Facebook and Google because they are the main threats, not your ISP) and the low & unsustainable price of their plans suggests they might actually be doing something nefarious. Worse, on Eastern European channels it’s not just VPNs but actual financial scams like binary options and obvious “too good to be true” investments. And last week I saw some fake AirPods being advertised on meme videos.

I disagree with you. Sponsored content can burn in hell.

Thats fine but the revenue needs to come from somewhere. The common argument in tech circles is that people aren't opposed to ads, just to abuse like tracking. Yet here we have the most benign possible advertisement and people still seek automation to remove it.

Personally I don’t like ads not just because of the tracking but also because most advertisements are trash or malicious in some way (scams, malware, etc). Truth is, most people already have good products and those don’t need heavy advertising - only trash does.

Also, even if we assume these ads are benign aren’t they still an inconvenience? And if so, isn’t this totally normal that people will find ways against it? Isn’t the whole point of computers to make our lives easier by automating away boring tasks?

Well, obviously people who aren't opposed to ads per se won't use extensions like this. I, personally, believe that the whole point of ads is to manipulate you into making purchasing decisions that are irrational, i.e. decisions that aren't in your own best interests. Therefore I think all ads are unethical.

I realize that's a minority position, but it's an example of one way in which someone could come to the position that all ads are bad and should be blocked.

Note - someone might respond that in theory an ad could be designed to be genuinely useful by helping you make a more informed choice. I'm not denying that that's possible, just that you're imagining a very different world than the one we in fact live in.

>I, personally, believe that the whole point of ads is to manipulate you into making purchasing decisions that are irrational,[...]. Therefore I think all ads are unethical.

If I invent something I truly believe will improve the lives of others that they might pay for, how would I let the world know about it other than ads?


I'm wearing $350 noise-isolating earphones at this moment because I learned about the product from an ad 20 years ago. There was nothing else on the market that combined audiophile sound quality with 25+ dB ambient noise reduction. (It was a small company that specialized in hearing aids that expanded their product line into consumer hifi.) I wouldn't have learned about them through "word of mouth" because nobody I knew had them. I loved them so much that I've bought 3 replacement pairs over the last 2 decades as they've worn out. That ad for earphones saved my hearing and sanity at noisy offices.

I applied to the high-paying job that paid for my house because of an ad the company ran looking for my particular technical skills.

I went to performances of classical symphonies and piano recitals because of ads highlighting the local orchestra and the upcoming season's schedule. I also went on memorable helicopter tours because of ads.

Yes, _most_ ads (including most Youtube ads) are harmful/intrusive/irrelevant but saying _all_ ads manipulate you against your best interest can't be right.

>in theory an ad could be designed to be genuinely useful

It's not theory though. In my case, my earphones/job/concerts were genuinely useful to me. Unfortunately, it's the minority of cases where ads connect me to products that improve my life. Therefore, I do block all ads at the DNS level but I'm still receptive to ads relevant to my interests like 3d printing, home building & construction, aviation, etc.

Yea, I agree. However, companies need to advertise to get there product out there. Well, even I did by posting about this extension on hacker news.

I think there are ways to make ads more ethical than the average ad out there, and I appreciate those that do that.

- Developer

Why do you sign every comment with “- Developer” at the end? Just post a comment to your submission stating you’re the developer?

As far as I know, there is no easy way to tell who the OP is on this site.

Some people have different opinions. I oppose deceptiveness, and am not too opposed to tracking.

VPNs aren’t for protecting yourself from your ISP. They are to separate your IP address from your identity. Your IP address is used by data brokers to track users.

Yes, but only as a very small part of a much larger portrait. Cookies, tracking pixels, and browser fingerprinting are much more reliable, especially given that a lot of ISPs don't even assign most of their customers static IPs. Mine changes about once a week.

I respectfully but completely disagree.

The revenue to creators of in-video sponsorships are neither predicated by nor affected by whether or not I or anyone else watch the embedded advertisement. Because there is no way to effectively edit or remove the sponsorship, nor a way for anyone to monitor with a high degree of accuracy or certainty if and how much such an ad is viewed, creators are almost always paid a single lump sum to include the sponsor's message in the video. The amount they are paid is contractually based on viewership numbers achieved before they are paid for the ad or post the video, and any future sponsorship opportunities are simply affected by whether or not people watch the video with the included sponsorship and what click through rate is achieved.

The only people who conceivably "lose out" on anything here are the advertisers. But since I personally tend to look disfavorably on intrusive advertising, even this is not true in my situation.

... unless this practice becomes pervasive, in which case advertisers generally will stop seeing sponsoring this kind of content as worthwhile, and it will no longer be cost-effective to produce it. Your approach depends on most people continuing to view the ads, or at least to be perceived as viewing the ads (doing the "work" to make them cost-effective) while you avoid doing so. It's a classic free-rider problem.

According to some guy on reddit, they do have pretty detailed viewer retention graphs.



- Developer

True but I don’t really think there’s any downside to being a free rider, the cost of people just manually skipping the ad is already accounted for and an extension like this will always be super niche like similar tools for podcasts. You with your fancy automated thing that works sometimes is a fraction of a fraction of the viewership that doesn’t see the ad because the viewer wasn’t paying attention or went to the bathroom or fridge.

Life is too short to worry about business models changing like this. If you have to watch the ad out of fear that if you don’t you’ll be forced to watch the ad then you might as well not watch the ad.

> sponsored segments are an accurate reflection of the content you're consuming

For every example of a relevant sponsorship[1], there’s 10 completely unrelated sponsorships from blogging/web site creation services, online learning sites, and the rest.

There are good arguments against skipping sponsorships (manually or automatically...), but I don’t think relevance is one of them.

1. Like Doug DeMuro creating a list of cars specifically for a given video, then mentioning it: https://youtu.be/kpfAY3LqmXk?t=120

So don’t use it. I won’t use this, but I _will_ continue skipping most sponsored segments in videos. I feel no moral obligation to watch sponsored segments, sometime I will and sometimes I won’t.

Would you be interested in an option in this extension to not actually skip the sponsors, but just show them in the seek bar? Then, you can be prepared for them, but choose yourself whether to skip them.

Follow this issue: https://github.com/ajayyy/SponsorBlock/issues/131

Maybe an option similar to Netflix's "skip introduction" by which you can press a button to skip the intro or (default) watch it.

Yea, or like YouTube's skip ad button.

Sure. Difference being it is present the instant the ad starts (or a few sec prior) instead of after X seconds of the ad has played.

That would indeed be a nice option to have.

Do you also sit through commercials on tv?, or read the advertisements on the paper/magazines? How do you feel about pop-ups? All of those will have good production values and help pay the bills.

There are a couple of people that might do something interesting or funny with their sponsored segments, but plenty are just "hey guys, let me tell you about this toothbrush".

> otherwise violate mutual trust

Getting sponsored means getting paid to say something that you otherwise wouldn't. It calls everything else that they say or recommend into question.

There a subtle but important variant to this. When you are getting paid to provide ad space, even if you are not explicitly deceptive, you’re incentive are still such that the ad space takes priority. It will lead to choices compromising on quality for quantity diluting the very reason for putting the video message out there in the first place.

Yes, some things take time, effort and resources to produce, and we do want to make sure such things are available to those who know how to crate value from them. But ad-revenue cannot be some kind of default, let’s do better.

That is sad but true. That is why proper separation make sponsorships so much better and more ethical.

I'm probably not going to use this extension, I largely watch YouTube on my Chromecast, but I pay for YouTube Premium already so that I don't get ads, so it's a little annoying that the creators are getting paid from my subscription revenue and still putting ads in their content.

Your Premium subscription gives them the revenue they would have received from the ad you would've watched, but most creators have found that YouTube's monetization is too little and too unreliable to count on. You're paying YouTube far more than the creator, unless you're paying them directly.

That's not completely true. They are making a majority of the money (creators), but it's not directly related to what you watch. The entire pool is split by watch time (watch time from people even not subscribed to youtube premium) on all videos on the platform. So, more of your subscribers getting youtube premium does not benifit you.

Yea, or if you are supporting them on patreon. It is like CGP Grey's "adblock absolution"

You know they don't get paid unless you buy the product, right? Would you sit through a minute long advert for a vpn even though you already have one? Because that's pointless.

They can provide a way for people to pay to view their content.

How many people just manually skip these sponsorships?

Users who block ads often justify their "free lunch" because of the nefarious things that advertisers do - namely tracking and being a resource hog in their device. Sponsored segments on YouTube do neither of these. Also, YouTube creators who rely on sponsorships are often de-funded due to some pretty sketchy YouTube decisions, or just plain underpaid.

"People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don't owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs."

- Banksy

I get it, but I do think there's a difference between a billboard outside, or bright flashing adverts plastered over a city, vs a sponsor segment from a creator whose content I regularly consume in a video I explicitly choose to watch.

Hell yeah!

My reason is the ethics of deceptiveness. I prefer clearly labeled ads over sponsorships any day.

I hope the whitelisting feature allows people to whitelist those who have ethical sponsors, to encourage them.

Also, other than the vessel sponsorship, I've never clicked on a sponsored video's referral link. So, they won't be losing out on any money from me.

Here is my message from a previous comment:

The reason why I made this extension was because I was sick of the deceptiveness some channels used. Some channels don't even mention they are sponsored, but just talk as if they are recommending the product. Yes, you could say it's obvious they are sponsored, but that is only true to a regular YouTube viewer. To many outsiders, they get tricked into thinking these are actual recommendations and not ads.

I think saying that something is sponsored, then talking about it is perfectly acceptable. Trying to dodge that you are sponsored or being supported by them is very sketchy. And I especially don't like the new common practice of making hard to distinguish segues into sponsorships.

Here is what made me make this extension: https://www.reddit.com/r/kurzgesagt/comments/ca7vub/first_de...

- Developer

At their core, ads are a form of psychological manipulation. Subjecting yourself to this manipulation just because you feel guilty about getting a "free lunch" is absurd. Tracking and resource usage are also bad, but they're not the root of the problem.

Pick a less harmful way of funding content creators, like direct donation.

Time is the most precious resource. Don't let it get taken away from you.

You conveniently forgot to mention advertising such as [1]. This crap is even done to children. Today I wanted to let my daughter view a YouTube vid, and she got a commercial first. Children are not allowed to be targeted to see commercials in my jurisdiction.

[1] https://wokesloth.com/instagram-influencer-motorcycle-accide...

IP legalities notwithstanding, the moral defense in my mind is when creators don't have any mechanism for a direct revenue stream. It's one thing to not pay and skip ads; but if ads are the only way to support the creator, I hate being forced to "pay" with time (and poisoning my brain with faux-enthused marketing copy). In some cases, creators have a Patreon/etc, but supporters are still forced to see the same ads as everyone else.

In my mind, ad blocking tools should be using a revenue-sharing model (in the range of 90/10), that gives creators with an existing ad-supported model a low-effort secondary income stream. Even if entirely voluntary/opt-in, it seems like a win-win.

Also worth noting: one of the most successful podcasters/YouTubers, Joe Rogan, has a unique ad model: sponsor reads are front-loaded and designed to be easy to skip, with a short sponsor recap at the end. Perhaps that only works when you have millions of followers, but it demonstrates that sponsors aren't necessarily turned off by some percentage of listeners/viewers skipping ads.

Corridor Digital has a timer on screen.

I think you're going to discover something very quickly: it was never about any of that stuff. Everyone who believed that has trouble running companies that sell solutions to that.

Free X > X for $Y. That's it.

Rather than use a browser plugin, I'd prefer that Youtubers use the built-in metadata tool to mark their video as "paid promotion": https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/154235

A lot of Youtubers aren't marking their videos with that flag. (Many may be unaware of it.)

A screenshot showing what a "Includes paid promotion" title card looks like: https://wersm.com/youtube-creators-includes-paid-promotion-d...

An example video with the "Includes paid promotion" displayed at the beginning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4ijHIRaGXc

As an aside, I don't mind creators sponsored with relevant ads. They often show products that interest me. (This doesn't include generic ads like Blue Apron and Nord VPN that seem to be attached to any topic.)

One reason this isn't visible could be due to the fact that there are two checkboxes. One just says that it includes it, and the other says to display it. The YouTube console tells you that you don't have to display it if you mention it in the video.

Hmm, I don't know how I feel about this. I tend to find that with most content creators I watch, the sponsors they pick for their videos tend to be more relevant to their audience than standard pre/midroll ads might be. I'm okay with supporting their channel typically with a sponsorship.

I've seen a lot of the ones I watch having sponsors that are only vaguely related, such as a certain mattress manufacturer or a certain shopping cart creation site.

I don't mind the ones that relate, but the unrelated ones are very jarring.

Regardless, I almost never watch a second ad for the same product. I skip through them.

I haven't yet gotten to the point that I'd just skip them automatically, though. That's seems extreme.

The "play this awesome gacha game that I _totally_ play all the time" segments on absolutely unrelated videos is awful.

I get that they pay the creators so much money for the spots it's silly for the creators to say no, but I will always skip those segments.

I added a channel whitelisting feature just for this. Hopefully, we can encourage ethical behavior and good sponsors by rewarding those who do it right with a whitelist, like how adblock in theory can help.

- Developer

"Opt-in" doesn't work; I thought this was common knowledge

Yea, but I don't want to turn into the [Acceptable Ads Committee](https://pagefair.com/blog/2017/eyeos-toothless-acceptable-ad...)

Some are quite well done and feels less like an ad, some awful ones just play a shitty VPN clip in the worst possible way.

The reason why I made this extension was because I was sick of the deceptiveness some channels used. Some channels don't even mention they are sponsored, but just talk as if they are recommending the product.

Yes, you could say it's obvious they are sponsored, but that is only true to a regular YouTube viewer. To many outsiders, they get tricked into thinking these are actual recommendations and not ads.

I think saying that something is sponsored, then talking about it is perfectly acceptable. Trying to dodge that you are sponsored or being supported by them is very sketchy. And I especially don't like the new common practice of making hard to distinguish segues into sponsorships.

Here is what made me make this extension: https://www.reddit.com/r/kurzgesagt/comments/ca7vub/first_de...

- Developer

So don't install the plugin and you're good to go.

Or were you considering some scenario where someone gets to decide when other people can press play, pause or fast-forward?

That is a feature I'm not interested in. Give me a media player that does what I want (as its user), not overrule that for anyone else.

Agreed. Lots of times the sponsor content is creatively woven into video, providing either humor or entertainment, or both. I won't be using this.

"Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend" podcast does this really well. He has totally unrelated ads like State Farm insurance and a glass printing company, but he turns them into comedy bits with self-deprecating jokes and riffing. I'm usually very sensitive to ads, but I've never felt the urge to skip any of his.

"No, those are the good guys. They're good at emotional manipulation!"

It seems the most popular channel for this extension is Linus Tech Tips, which does not do this.

I made this for the channels that don't do that, and have whitelisted channels with good and ethical sponsorships.

- Developer

Seems to be an unpopular opinion but I'm on board with this. I pay for YouTube premium so that I don't have to watch ads (on TV/phone) and I feel railroaded whenever somebody stops their video to talk about a product that are paying them to do so.

I manually skip these always if I'm paying attention. I hope this shows in their analytics. I include "buy my tshirt" and "look I have another channel where I interview my 5 year old" in this.

I think it's just a vocal minority, and on reddit there were way less people disagreeing with the extension :/

- Dev

> There are currently 635 users who have submitted 5251 sponsors and saved a total of 7.37 days of people's lives.

> 7.37 days of people's lives

This is a really cool thing to track.

Yea, I really like that statistic. I also put it on the stats page for individuals, so you can see how much time you have saved people with your submissions. I plan to add that statistic to the extension too so that you can see it even if you are not in the top 50.


- Developer

I wish this could be added to youtube-dl to (optionally) cut the offending content out of the downloaded video file.

The API is open and database is downloadable, so feel free to try making something.


- Developer

Would this block the whole video about the Glass Age[0] by the MythBusters since the whole thing was sponsored? :)

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12OSBJwogFc

haha, that is something I'd be scared this extension promotes, since that is something unblockable

- Developer

I feel like Google did this to themselves. They had the adpocalypse, so creators had to resort to patreon and sponsorships, devaluing the paid version of YouTube. Why pay to avoid ads when the ads are now in the videos? Then Google puts 2 ads in front of some videos. Now people are writing tools to block out the in video sponsorships. If there hadn't been an adpocalypse we wouldn't have patreon begging, in video VPN commercials, etc.

Google doesn't like sponsorships, they don't get a % cut.

This is a very cool extension. Most sponsored content is more deceptive and time wasting than Yotube ads. Thank you for making this and hopefully I can say goodbye to all those pesky nordvpn ads!

Just a thought but anyway to see which channels / videos / ads were reported the most? No reason, just curious.

Someone made a program to view that, but sadly I wasn't given permission to host it publicly. Here is a link to it if you want to try it: https://www.reddit.com/r/opensource/comments/ckt0f4/i_made_a...

It's mostly Linus Tech Tips.

You can also download a DB viewer like DB viewer for Sqlite and open up the database: https://sponsor.ajay.app/database.db and then just sort by views or votes. You just see videoIDs though, no thumbnails :)

Is there a place I can view all the sponsor segments I've submitted? It would be nice to see them individually, maybe with stats about how often each one was used and whether or not it is in good standing w/rt voting.

Right now, there is no easy way, but you can do it manually following these steps:

Get an sqlite DB GUI like this awesome one: https://sqlitebrowser.org/

Open up the DB from https://sponsor.ajay.app/database.db

Click browse data and switch to the userNames table.

Find the userID for your username in that list and copy it.

Go back to the sponsorTimes table and paste your userID into the filter text box under the userID category.

Currently, the only easy to access stats are at https://sponsor.ajay.app/stats/

Thanks, I'll give that a shot.

Would anyone use a similar service for skipping ads in podcasts? I've thought about creating an open database that contains the timestamps of ads in popular shows.

Good idea, feel free to join the Discord linked on the website so you chat with people about your idea.

Oh by "report them" it just means to SponsorBlock and not that YouTube somehow doesn't approve of sponsorships.

However it is true that YouTube doesn't really like sponsorships, since they don't get a % cut from it. They now just say that your sponsorship cannot be too similar to an ad format that YouTube offers (banner ads or straight up video ads from the company in the middle).

Yea, just to the database of SponsorBlock :)

- Developer

I have an 'L' key. It works well enough for my needs.

That works too, but encourages them to make sure you don't realize you are watching a sponsored segment until it is too late.

Please don’t do this. It disrespects small creators. This isn’t like hurting big companies that can afford the hit. This is the digital equivalent of stealing money out of the till of the corner shop.

That analogy is the digital equivalent of breaking into my house and relieving yourself on the carpet.

Any time someone is paid to say something to me, I reserve the right to not listen. If I value what someone has to say, that value is non-transferrable. I'm not handing out permanent easements to my brain to anyone who can grab my attention.

I pay for YouTube in money so I don't have to pay the cost of listening to people pretend they care about mattresses. The creators do not find the platform lucrative enough, so they put ads that aren't marked as ads in their videos in order to get paid twice. Sorry, three times if you count Patreon.

I'm sure you'll agree that's the digital equivalent of running a nursing home that charges both the residents and their families for the same care while also keeping the proceeds of Monday night bingo.

This is a startup community, and there’s frequently a focus on having diverse revenue streams so as to offer financial stability. Suddenly a YouTuber who has 15,000 followers does it, and they’re a horrible person? That’s literally what you’re saying.

Do you watch all the sponsor content in 1x speed without skipping? This is the digital equivalent of not reading the ad “articles” in a magazine.

If you don’t like the sponsored content, skip it by hand. Don’t automate it.

Why not automate it, I've already spent countless hours over the past 2 months working on this software, I'm not wasting that time.

Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

I've thought of that a lot. You can look through my comments on this thread and my comments on https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/cl5t45/i_made_an_a...

This was all built because of unethical ads, not because I was tired of seeing sponsors. I still don't think blocking every sponsor is the best option ethically, I think whitelisting is something that should be done to make it more ethical. I also think people should consider whitelisting channels from ublock origin (I do that).

More info here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20780728

This punches down. Don’t punch down.

The people who take these sponsorships are punching down by abusing their reputation to hawk this kind of crap, often also in ways that make it unclear that they're being paid to do it.[0][1]

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20781415

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20780305

They’re trying to make a few bucks. You’re trying to get their content for free without supporting them, and doing double-backflips to try to convince yourself that you have the moral high ground.

You don’t.

How is this different from using an adblocker?

There is no tracking involved with a paid sponsorship. This is not like some crazy adtech here. This is literally someone just trying to pay some bills by hawking a product—the ethical concerns are significantly less.

Nah. I'll be configuring my useragent to show me what I want to see.

I wouldn't say that. Only big creators get sponsors. I guess it depends on what you mean by small creator. And this isn't taking money, it would just be not putting any in.

'Big creators' seems to be fairly ambiguous. I've seen plenty of sponsorship segments on <10,000 subscriber accounts, which (I'm guessing) is probably the threshold where the creator is starting to make noticeable money from Youtube, but not quite enough to go full time. It's the big creators who seem to not have the sponsorship segments in my experience, because they have enough income from other parts of their brand.

People use adblock now, I don't see how this is much worse. In my opinion, this is more ethical than adblock since it allows easy whitelisting and has an easy to click unskip button.

Web ads generally come with tracking software baked in. Paid sponsorships do not.

Most of the "Big creators" I see rolling sponsorships on youtube are nowhere near even the size of even smallest of creators on cable tv.

Many of them are literally one to three people with a camera.

I’ve seen channels with as few as 10,000 subscribers have sponsors. This is literally screwing with some person’s job.

is there a way to actually skip the sponsorship without doing it manually or am i missing something?

Well, the extension has a database of all the timestamps of the sponsors. See here: https://sponsor.ajay.app/database.db

That database is created by submissions from the community.

Every time you browse a video, it will check the DB for sponsors and skip the timestamps if needed.

- Developer

yeah i missed that, it works perfectly fine!

for the dev, can you add a feature to skip to the end of the sponsored segment

What do you mean? It should do that automatically.

Please no. If this takes off it'll devalue sponsor segments in youtube videos. That's the main source of revenue for a lot of creators. Sure some larger groups (like Linus Tech Tips) can probably take the hit, but a lot cannot.

I hate adverts, I run an adblocker, I hate youtube ads. But mostly I hate them because they are intrusive and non-applicable. Most of the sponsor segments in youtube are non-invasive. They tend to cater to the audience too. Many youtubers also make it easy to tell when the ad is, how long is left, and make it skipable manually.

I find it the other way. As well, I am fine with youtubers who make it clear and whitelist those.

- Developer

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact