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YouTube Ends Premium Paywall Test For 4K Streaming

Earlier this month, it was reported that some YouTube users found themselves not being able to access 4K quality on videos, a feature that has always been available for free. It turned out that the platform was running an experiment on possibly locking up 4K behind its paid YouTube Premium subscription.

youtube premium
Credit: YouTube

A new update from YouTube on their Twitter page has confirmed that the video hosting giant has ended its test on putting a paywall for 4K resolutions. It clarified that once again, all users are able to access 4K without a Premium membership — for now.

The company did not state the results of the experiment, so we can't completely discount the possibility of the paywall being implemented more widely in the future. Suffice to say, of course, that the feedback from users regarding the experiment was anything but positive, although some big creators such as Linus Sebastian from Linus Tech Tips have actually defended YouTube's decision from a business standpoint.

Of course, YouTube does have a history of permanently implementing an ill-received experiment, like when it decided to officially hide the dislike count from videos months after testing it. This caused an uproar within YouTube's community with users and creators alike demanding a return of the dislike count, but to no avail.

YouTube Premium is a subscription that provides users with an ad-free experience, background play, downloads for offline viewing as well as access to Music Premium, the brand's music streaming service. It starts from RM17.90 per month in Malaysia and S$11.98 per month in Singapore.

  • YouTube has ended its experiment on a Premium paywall for 4K quality resolutions.

  • The extent of the test was not revealed, but YouTube confirmed that 4K is available to all users again.

  • As with its decision to hide the dislike count months after testing it, there's no guarantee that a Premium subscription won't be required for 4K in the future.

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