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Is it legal for YouTube to show you ads even if you paid for YouTube Premium?
3 points by rvnx 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments
Is it legal for YouTube to show you ads even if you paid for YouTube Premium ?

You pay 150 to 200 USD per year to not get any ads on YouTube, but still, in practice you get ads at the beginning of videos (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F98wUD4A8QU).

These ads are baked inside the feed by the YouTube content creators and YouTube is aware of it.

To me it sounds like charging a subscription that doesn't deliver its basic functionality ? I'm intrigued.

I suppose it depends on what the services contract agreement says. In general, I view ad injection in a purchased product as a sign of a very weak or failing product. Basically, the value proposition for the core product is weak so they need to prop up revenue using ads.

It's super annoying and I've cancelled subscriptions for doing it.


- SeriousXM Subscription (not all channels, but some have commercials)

-Hulu Subscription (some shows still require adds before and after viewing)

- The worst IMO: my old Samsung TV hijacked my internet (apparently without any authorization) to show their own TV channels with commercials. I'm sure a lot of people don't realize that not only did you pay Samsung for the TV, but they continue to make money by consuming your internet bandwidth to force feed you ads.

- Ad placement in TV/Movies: Ads have been embedded in Movies since the 1920's [1] (so you bought a ticket and get schemed afterwards by the content you paid to view)

There are certainky respectable truly ad-free products/subscriptions that haven't gone down this dark path... SONOS, Spotify, don't appear to inject any ads. I guess the products are strong enough on their own.

I wish there was something like a "union" of consumers to organize product boycots so that our disgust with their practices are actually heard. That would probably clean up the market faster and teach new companies what not to do with their products.

1. https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/product-placement-in-films/

It's not an ideal solution, but I use SponsorBlock to get rid of in-video ads. (The ad section of your linked video has been reported and it is thus automatically skipped thanks to the add-on.)

Thank you for sharing the tip ! This is exactly what I was looking for.

This is so great, thank you.

Umm yes? What law would that be breaking?

Whether it's legal is a low bar to clear though - it could be perfectly legal and you could still be getting crappy service and wasting your subscription money.

I tried YouTube now, and I got this message in the bottom left corner [in Spanish]:

> YouTube Premium // Obtén YouTube sin anuncios

Translation> YouTube Premium // Get YouTube without adds

So I understand why the OP may be unhappy. Anyway, I expect the TOS written carefully to allow whatever they are doing. (Perhaps it's no adds the first month. Perhaps there are some different categories of adds, and they are removing all the adds of one categories (but not the others). Perhaps...)

I also pay for YTP - I have no issues with people like ATA putting an ad in their content as long as it's not obnoxious, like sometimes the Simon Whistler stuff is. I'm not gonna buy their "merch" - so it seems reasonable to me they can sell some space on their feed to someone else for some extra cash. Sure, I don't love it, but I do very much enjoy ATA, Hoovie, Sam Crac, Adam Ragusea, Today I Found Out, etc and although I suspect they make around 300/400k a year USD from youtube alone, I do also appreciate how much work goes into their stuff. ATA for example hires someone to narrate his scrip for him.

Wow, I didn't know ATA was so popular.

It's actually how the question got into my head, as on this channel they investigate / audit how the law is functioning (even if it's sometimes far-fetched) and that directly led me to this question.

In practice, I still find it is quite annoying on certain channels like LinuxTechTips (they genuinely have content, but... the amount of sponsors in these videos is crazy), and somehow, it feels wrong to pay but not get the service delivered.

Perhaps they are getting away with it by saying it's paid "promotion", and not "ad".

The more I think about it, the more I'm suspecting that it violates consumer laws but it looks like an expensive battle.

It is distasteful, that's for sure.

I've wondered the same thing about my television subscription. Even with streaming-on-demand of recent broadcasts, I can't skip though ads. They just won't sell me an ad-free service ... and TV costs me the same as Netflix.

As far as I know, the popular service Hulu makes some distinction, you can pay for an ad-supported experience, or a more expensive ad-free experience

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