I had the following experience and would like to verify, if possible, whether YouTube would show less ads when cookies are cleared.

Note: I have set my browser to forget cookies and history upon restart.


  • I searched for a YouTube video.
  • Started watching the video (~25 minutes long).
  • Before the video starts a video ad appears.
  • I leave the ad play for more than 4 seconds, then open the ad url in a new tab, watching to the end a couple of times. I search the advertised company on Google and also click on a couple of related YouTube video links.
  • Then I continue watching my original video. From then on, a video ad, from the same company, appears around once every two minutes (I skip everytime). In the current point, I see no way to notify YouTube that I don't want any more ad prompts.
  • I'm around the middle of the video, at which point I copy the video url, restart the browser (cookies are cleared), paste it again and move to the resume point.
  • No ad appears until the end of the video.

Based on the above experience I have the sense that when cookies are cleared, YouTube (under no login) has a tendency to show less to zero ads.

My question is, are there any source of information or research justifying the above assumption?

  • Your observation is perhaps true. I have felt it as well. The general understanding that I have is they might want a perhaps new user to get used to the interface, or let the ad servers "learn" what the user might want to see as ad (personalised ad) using data mining or ML technology. But why bother? Is it part of your research or something? – Severus Snape Aug 25 '20 at 15:40

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