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This Twitch PSA Is Turning Heads

Imagine you're in the middle of laughing at the latest PewDiePie video when suddenly, YouTube plays a somber clip about antidepressants. A situation like this might take you out of the moment, and some audience members take a pre-emptive approach by installing ad blockers, which usually work. However, a few websites try to circumvent these programs, and Twitch is the latest to try its hand at anti-ad blocking.

Recently, Twitch released an update that detects if a viewer uses ad blocking software. The company didn't provide a press release, but viewers have instead noticed that if they use an ad blocker, Twitch will play an ad roughly every 10 minutes. These ads interrupt live broadcasts and call attention to the use of ad blocking and third-party tools. 

The end goal, according to Twitch partner Lowco, is to irritate audiences until they give up and deactivate their ad blockers, at least on Twitch. Lowco told her followers that disabling ad blocker is the only way to get these particular ads to stop.

However, the general audience reaction to the news is unprecedentedly pro-ad. Many commenters seem feel that the ads aren't that intrusive and essentially support them. Some say ads are an excellent way to take a break and grab a drink, while others point out that ads support streamers, so watching ads basically helps your favorite content creators make more videos. While a small portion of people disagree and just want to watch streamers uninterrupted, the viewers have seemingly spoken: Blocking ads hurts streamers, especially those who rely on Twitch for income. Therefore, many people don't block ads out of principle and altruism.

The news that Twitch declared war on ad blockers came on the heels of another ad-based experiment: midroll ads. One moment you're watching a streamer engrossed in a nail-biting Dark Souls 2 boss battle, the next the screen is dominated by a song about fried chicken doughnut sandwiches. Unlike the anti-ad blocker ads, the midroll ads were primarily reviled. However, that hasn't stopped Twitch from causing an uproar by finding other ways to advertise.

Audiences seemingly want to support their favorite streamers and watch ads in order to monetarily aid content creators. However, while many are willing to forego ad blockers for the sake of streamers, they still want ads delivered tactfully. But, if you truly can't stand ads on Twitch, you can always subscribe to Twitch Turbo for $9 a month.