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YouTube gives up on trying to make 4K content exclusive to its Premium tier

YouTube in 4K need not be Premium. (Source: NBC via YouTube)
YouTube in 4K need not be Premium. (Source: NBC via YouTube)
YouTube has been running an "experiment" in which the ability to play content back at 2160p, or 4K, on its website would be locked behind its Premium paywall. However, it may have ultimately failed, as it has now officially been cancelled, leaving the setting open to all members once again.

YouTube's Premium tier already has ad-free playback, the option to download videos and running in the background to itself. The service does at least throw its Music arm in for US$11.99 a month. However, taking the ability to simply watch at full resolution on a 4K monitor as well may have struck many users as a step too far.

However, Google's video content platform has now conceded this point itself, and has suspended a project that investigated a move for streaming in 4K into the Premium walled garden. YouTube's official Twitter channel walked right into a call to admit this by posting the phrase "what if…you spent the day outside, with friends?" on October 16, 2022.

It nearly immediately ran into the comeback "What if you don't force your premium sub for watching 4k content", courtesy of @Prinyansh_. Another account, @TeamYouTube, replied with the confirmation that it had "fully turned off" the "experiment" in question.

Therefore, YouTube users may now stream their videos at the highest resolution possible on the 4K panels they already paid for. Then again, they may still have to put up with multiple ads per clip while doing so.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 10 > YouTube gives up on trying to make 4K content exclusive to its Premium tier
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-10-18 (Update: 2022-10-19)