They're also testing out showing you ads when you pause videos.
Screenshot of a typical YouTube pre-roll video advertisement.

A week after they experimented with blocking ad blockers, YouTube is now up to all new ad-related shenanigans. The company announced plans to push 30-second unskippable ads to videos when watching YouTube content on connected TVs.

This new change was shared during a YouTube Brandcast event. The new 30-seconds ads will be added first to videos featured on YouTube Select. YouTube Select is a way for brands and advertisers to select from top performing videos in various categories and niches. This means you probably won't see these 30-second ads showing up your cousin's 480p, off-screen let's play of Super Mario Bros. 3 (unless it goes viral for some reason).

This single 30-second unskippable ad will replace the two 15-second ads that are typically shown before a video's actual content when viewed on TV. It's entirely subjective whether or not you prefer two 15-second ads or one 30-second ad, of course.

Perhaps more annoying for viewers is the fact YouTube plans to test a feature they call "Pause Experiences." This feature will cause ads to appear whenever a viewer pauses a video while watching content on connected TVs. This idea isn't all that new for streaming platforms, as Hulu introduced something similar back in 2019.

Those who tend to pause videos with the purpose of viewing or reading something in the video are now going to have their view obscured.

Though YouTube only announced these ad changes for connected TVs, it's probably only a matter of time before the changes appear on desktop, mobile, and Chromecast devices.

Beyond these changes and experiments with ads YouTube has been on a roll lately with other bad decisions. The company recently implemented (or started testing?) a feature that defaults a channel's Video tab sorting to a "For You" setting instead of ordering the videos by latest upload and wow do I ever hate this particular change. If you don't see the "For You" sorting when going to the Video tab on a channel, consider yourself lucky. You can change it back to "Latest" sorting but that option does nor does it persist between different channels. It has shown up on both desktop and mobile for me and it sucks. It's so bad.

Another garbage feature YouTube is testing that defaults Video tab sorting to "For You" instead of showing the latest uploads by a channel.