There are many ways to watch YouTube ad-free (I highly recommend YouTube Premium). But even if you shell out $13.99 per month to remove autoplay ads on YouTube, you still can’t get rid of sponsorship ads. No matter how you watch YouTube, a popular creator may still place an ad read in the middle of a video with no automatic way to skip it.
Nothing against sponsorship ads, of course: They’re at least transparent, as you know the creator directly worked with the company, instead of an algorithm suggesting something useless. The problem is you can only spend so much time watching the same Squarespace ad done in a slightly different way.
To solve the problem, you can turn to a free, open-source and crowdsourced extension: SponsorBlock for YouTube. Volunteers submit “skip segments” to the platform when they find a video with an ad read. So far, these users have submitted over 15 million skip segments, covering a wide range of YouTube channels. I found skip segments even in accounts with around 100,000 subscribers.
The extension is available in all popular browsers, and even in third-party, ad-free apps like LibreTube. If you use Android TV, SponsorBlock is integrated in SmartTubeNext, the best way to block YouTube ads on Android TV. And if you’re really motivated, you can run iSponsorBlockTV on your computer, which can block sponsored ads on YouTube for smart TVs and Apple TV.
The simplest way, though, is to use the browser extension. Once it’s installed and running, you’ll see a handy green color for the sponsored segment. By default, the video will automatically skip the ad, but you can jump to the end of the ad using the red highlight marker.
If you dive into the extension’s settings, you can whitelist a channel you want to see sponsorship videos for, and you can disable automatic skipping if you’d like. If you run into a video that doesn’t have the sponsorship segment marked, you can use the Submit feature to submit your own section, helping the community watch fewer sponsored ads.