Rumor: You may soon need YouTube Premium to watch 4K video
Google experimented on YouTube to increase the company's revenue on the platform recently. After running tests with up to 10 unskippable ads before videos, users on Reddit report that YouTube limited 4K video resolutions on their devices, prompting them to upgrade to YouTube Premium to unlock that, previously unlocked, option.
Reddit user Ihatesmokealarms published a screenshot of the YouTube application that limits 2160p playback to YouTube Premium. Google did not provide a comment on whether the change is rolling out to all customers on the platform or if it is a limited experiment, just like the 10 unskippable ads experiments run in August 2022.
A check on our devices returned no such limitation in the YouTube application on Android, iOS or desktop devices. Some users replied to the thread stating that they experienced the limitation as well, while others stated that they could select 4K video on YouTube without any issues.
You need to select Settings in any video and then the Quality option that is listed there to display the available resolutions that are supported. Not all videos on YouTube support 4K, as it depends on the source file whether that is supported.
Note: we recommend third-party apps like NewPipe when it comes to watching videos on YouTube. They are ad-free and include many nice-to-have features that YouTube apps do not support or limit to Premium customers.
The recent experiments appear to have a single goal: increase the number of Premium subscribers. At $11.99 per month, YouTube Premium is more expensive than the majority of streaming media services, including Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, or Netflix (the Basic plan at least). For Google, it means increasing a steady stream of revenue, regardless of how advertising is developing in the coming years.
For now, Google seems intent to annoy the hell out of regular YouTube visitors and users to get them to see the beauty of YouTube Premium.
Another approach could be to increase the value of YouTube Premium for subscribers instead, which could do wonders for the perception that users have regarding YouTube and the Premium offering.
Now You: do you watch 4K video? What is your take on this latest change on YouTube? (via Neowin)Advertisement