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Tell HN: YouTube fixed the dot after domain ad bypass
85 points by foxfired 25 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 81 comments
Last week there was a post [1] that showed how to play YouTube without ads. I didn't want to upvote it because well, the more popular it got the more chances YouTube will figure it out and fix it. Now they fixed it.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23479435

I guess this is because there are Google employees that look at this site and have seen this issue reported here and on social media.

Chances were that one Google employee passed this issue on and the YouTube team was working on a fix. Unsurprising response here.

There are Google employees here. And the only reason this was fixed is because it directly affects ad revenue. Nothing else is fixed as quickly or at all.

There was a lawsuit awhile back with Android, something about hyperlinking phone numbers or something, that required updates to devices.

People were shocked at how fast updates were deployed to remove the offending feature since updates were regularly delayed for months on end.

Great to see Google able to fix things this quickly after being raised on HN - hopefully this new urgency will now be brought to bear on legitimate apps being cancelled with no recourse and the various other pain points featured here on a regular basis, which they've been strangely unresponsive on...

1 costs them lost ad revenue

the other... who knows.

I would not expect to see any changes with the latter

To be fair this was raised on reddit and that post became so popular The Verge made an article about it.

There should be a section for such stuff

Like [Ask HN] but [Google Support]? Often HN becomes a Google Support fallback.

I had the displeasure to experiencing YouTube without adblocking a few days ago and oh dear...

30 more years to retirement, and I'm already looking forward to a small house on the edge of the Canadian wilderness.

Hopefully the price of a house there would dip your timeframe to something below 30 years.

But yes, my wife watches "normal" YouTube and I don't get it. It makes me itch to even see video recommendations on the right side of the screen.

I used that domain & a few things worth mentioning are below-

* Pressing T for theatre mode only made the black space wide, the video stayed where it was on the screen

* Videos would pause if you went from regular view to full-screen with F key

* Ads won't show up but a dialog to group/skip ads would appear without any timer on it or ad being displayed

It's the same domain.

Googler here, but speaking as a consumer

YouTube Premium + YouTube Music is a great deal. Ad-free videos and a music app that's basically identical to Spotify as far as I can tell.

Hacks like this one are really fun but we all know that YT needs to get paid somehow. The creators deserve the money and unlike many sites everyone on HN knows the infra cost to run it is monstrous.

I'm sure I sound like the biggest shill ever right now so I anticipate downvotes but I was just shocked at how many people here are mad at Google for fixing a bug to protect ad revenue. Wouldn't your company do it too?

This is painting a false picture. I don’t see people being mad this was fixed. What I do see are people pointing out how quickly Google fixes this while other long term issues, not just on YouTube but in Google’s entire ecosystem, appear to be ignored. Only the issues that impact revenue are ever promptly addressed by YouTube.

For example, to add to the growing list in this thread, here’s my pet peeve: it’s been 4+ years since YouTube removed subscription collections and publicly promised a better replacement.[1] What’s the progress on that?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19954740

> we all know that YT needs to get paid somehow

Nope. I don't have any interest at all in YT getting paid. In fact, I think the internet might be a better place if YT is less successful.

I'm with you. In the nascent days of the internet none of these media businesses were around. And it was good - great even. If we had an issue, we'd solve it with technology and not by throwing money at a centralized corporation.

I used Google Music for years and switched to Spotify about a year ago. The difference in music discovery is like night and day. Every week, Spotify gives me a new list of music I've never heard where I tend to favorite ~30% of them. Google Music just played the same songs over and over. It was work for me to actually find new music.

That said I still pay for it to get rid of YouTube ads.

YT music is hot garbage, just awful. Discovery is a joke compared to Spotify. I've given it a few chances recently and have been sorely disappointed each time.

Nice of them to offer a 3 month YT premium trial, now I know it's only good for removing ads.

Please, for the love of whichever god you believe in, stop asking me to buy your premium service Every Single Time I open the app. No means no. Such a bad experience.

You're just using the wrong app. You wanted Vanced instead: https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/app-yout...

NewPipe's better.

I don't think you have any entitlement to whine if you refuse to pay the asking price for a service.

Any other service would show you the door.

I think this thread is a living confirmation of the old marketing rule which says: "Freeloaders are the most entitled customers."

So many people are demanding that a company provides a completely free service, for free and without any monetisation while catering to all their whims.

You mean creators make money from Premium?

They make peanuts from it!

Do you have a source for that? This seems like the kind of thing that should be widely discussed among creators, but it's hard to find numbers. (Maybe due to NDAs?). The best I could find the last time this was discussed was this, but it's not a lot of data points and the numbers vary widely: https://old.reddit.com/r/PartneredYoutube/comments/9mj13u/sh...

The numbers posted show premium viewers making more money for the creators per viewer. How much more depends on exactly which of the datapoints you pick, but it's ranging from 35% more to a rather implausible 3600%.

As an anecdote, LinusTechTips, which has a huge Youtube channel, recently commented on WAN Show about Youtube Premium and Ad Revenue.

The takeaway was that, if you are a youtube premium user, you are contributing way more than someone just watching ads, and if you buy merch, you had contributed way, way more than someone who watched the entire channel library with ads turned on.

"60x More": https://youtu.be/rXz0veV1AuU?t=1950 "Merch": https://youtu.be/E4ikRN5-W18?t=1180

Thanks! But I think you might have misheard? To me it sounds like Linus saying "six to ten X", not "sixty X".

BTW YouTube Music Web gives me terrible experience. Any Google employee dogfooding it? (Android App is fine)

Tell me how Google has made back the $1B it spent on buying Youtube.

Subtract Youtube Ad revenue.

Now tell me how much Google makes off of Youtube.

>YT needs to get paid somehow YT is used by basically the whole world and run by the biggest ad network in the world and yet it is a money sink. You can't be the sole provider of the world's video.

Yes I noticed that this was fixed last night. I tried to watch a 12 min clip of Germany vs Brazil from the 2014 world cup, an ad break approx every 2 mins. Insane.

No content in the world would make me accept such toxic experience, rather not watch if that became a common experience. So far my blockers do their job, but I imagine one day they won’t and I’d probably go back to paper book reading instead.

Or you could pay a few bucks for the storage, hosting and content creation costs so they won't have to use ads to do it. The option is a few clicks away.

Darn. YouTube ads are seriously scammy nowadays.

Guys, this one is easy. You can get ad-free access if you just pay for it through YouTube Premium.

Well, I've had ad-free access to YouTube for free since virtually forever using μBlock Origin.

Creators aren't getting paid if you use adblock.

You know what, that could be the solution to fix the internet.

Years ago before ads, the only people that published stuff were the ones who were legitimately interested. They were publishing out of love, not greed.

Today, all kinds of low quality content is published because they want ad-revenue. It makes it very hard to find the high quality content.

I say don't pay any of the creators. Then the only creators left will be the ones not doing it for money.

And without a profit motive, people will begin the true work of their lives and dreams! (Except that they still need to survive.) What is ethical about paying a plumber but not an artist?

That's lovely in theory, but the reality is that it just means the majority of the creators left will be the ones being paid directly because their content is primarily promotional, and some of the better creators will turn their hand to something else [or something more explicitly promotional or hard to find because it's behind a paywall] because everyone has to eat.

And what was left wouldn't be easier to find, because there wouldn't be a free platform to find them on.

I spend almost 30€ per month via Tipeee (an equivalent of Patreon in France). Creators whose work I value are getting more from me than from the ads that would otherwise track, profile, and brainwash me. Also, many content creators are getting paid more from partnership and product placement than from the shitty ads that YouTube and advertisers allow them to place on their videos except when they decide not to because well, that 20 minutes original content video is using a 1.5 seconds excerpt of some random movie which is the "intellectual property" of Big Corp for a joke, for example.

Doesn't really matter much, YouTube's payment scheme is too unreliable anyway (constantly changing rules, entire channels being demonetized because of one video, no actual support when unjustly demonetized or when someone copyright claims your video etc.). Most creators already ignore YouTube and base their funding on sites like Patreon.

Nor are they getting paid [fairly] if you don't :)

Not my problem though

I never asked them to produce the content in the first place

I don't want to give my money or my attention to YouTube and Google ads, simple as that

Yes, but you need a google account, which means you add to the google personnal stash.

Google has enough data about me, I'm not going to pay so it can get more of it.

So you don't want Google to monetize your data, you don't want to pay for the service and you also won't stop using the service?


I'm just explaining my motivations, not pretending to have the moral high ground.

This is the strategy I use purely because it's what's best for me, selfishly.

I think the issue is that Google takes your money and monetizes your data anyway.

> you don't want to pay for the service

I'd be happy to pay for YouTube, if it didn't mean signing a contract whereby they own my life. (Minor exaggeration – they don't get exclusive rights to it.)

Give it to me for free and sell merch on your store like everybody else, Goog

Plus you get youtube music which is just as good as spotify or amazon music - all this for Rs.129 / mo is unbelievable.

As a matter of fact I often find songs on yt music that are not on Spotify.

I was using YouTube music for about 4 months. Since it was a promotional offer with my phone, I figured I might as well use it. This was relatively early at launch, so things might have changed. But back when I tested it, the app was pretty bad, the desktop version didn't work properly in firefox (media keys were not working), there were no curated playlists and so on. It might be a nice addition if you want to use YT Premium, but its certainly not a 1:1 replacement for Spotify or Apple Music.

I think the price is different based on where you are. In the U.S. the cost is $11.99 USD which translates to ~Rs. 914

Man that is expensive and totally not worth it. I think they are offering special launch pricing for India? (1)

(1) https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+premium+india+price

Yeah, and if you want to listen to music on the go, you just have to leave your screen on the entire time, or pay this ransom you speak of.

Is anyone using web without an ad blocker nowadays?

I am using Youtube (with Premium) and HN. Almost no other sites, only as links from HN. So here am I - not using adblock and not seeing lots of ads either.

How can I setup a trustworthy adblock solution for my iOS devices? I don’t want to re-configure or having to maintain my router settings etc.

I've been using Adguard Pro [1], which is paid (not subscription), but open source [2], on my iOS devices. It uses Safari's content blocker mechanism for blocking ads on the web. I went with it over other apps because it supports adding custom rules to block specific elements on a page, like with other desktop ad blockers. If you want to block ads outside of Safari, it can optionally set up a VPN on localhost to block the traffic.

[1] https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adguard-pro-adblock-privacy/id...

[2] https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdguardForiOS

I have found that just refreshing the page (mobile view only) removes the ads.

Check with your parents or non-technical friends.

You will be definitely surprised.

Checked, they said adblockers were difficult to use and gave scary browser permission messages. One friend said he was afraid Google would shut down his account if they found out that he was "cheating youtube of their ads".

Might sound strange to some but when you teach users that their PC isn't really theirs to control (Windows EULA or Chromebook TOS) you get this kind of chilling effects and it's only getting worse.

That's the thing - we (technical people) help others, and this includes installing or recommending an ad blocker.

This. The first thing I do when setting up a computer for a non-technical family member is install Chrome and uBlock Origin. I personally use Firefox but it hasn't been worth the trouble to try and have them use that. When the only thing on your laptop is Chrome it usually runs without issue.

Guys I have one easier: You can get a Ferrari if you just pay for it.

The problem is that you're now providing validated billing details to an ad-tech company which is the worst thing you can do as far as privacy is concerned, and creators don't get paid fairly either.

You're much better off taking your $10/month and dividing it equally across the creators you watch regularly on Patreon, and using an ad-blocker on the videos themselves.

Creators get paid, adtech scum doesn't, and you get to keep a bit of privacy.

They need a bug bounty like program (but non security related) to report these sorts of things. This could have cost them a lot of money.

The cost of this was near zero. The people who discovered and publicized it did so on a tech-savvy forum so the majority of users were blocking ads anyway. This discovery was more of a novelty than anything else.

Just wished I had a newpipe android app experience on Safari/Desktop as well

You can use ublock origin.

This is why we cannot have nice things!!

Wow, quick fix ... must have affected ad revenue or something important.

Even a few people using that would have lead to a flurry of error reporting happening automatically

Eh, probably not. NewPipe doesn't.

It shall be on HN last page, downvoted out of reach of noobs ;)

Do they know about the trick using the embed URL to bypass age restrictions?

Doesn't affect ad revenue, so don't expect a fix anytime soon.

Dang, can you delete this please? The first rule of fight club...

I'm over 18, but I use this because I don't want to log in.

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