YouTube has been looking for ways to push its subscription-based premium model on users for a while now, including testing multiple (up to 11) unskippable ads. A new restriction for non-premium users is sure to make a number of users of the platform unhappy.
As per a report by TechCrunch, a number of Twitter and Reddit users noted that over the weekend, YouTube had been asking non-Premium users to upgrade their free plan to stream in 4K.
As per a screenshot shared by Twitter user Alvin, we can see that the 4K option comes with a small banner now underneath that says ‘Premium’, while other options like 1440p (2K) and 1080p (FHD) remain available for all.
So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDp
— Alvin (@sondesix) October 1, 2022
While it isn’t clear if the feature is just something Google is trying with YouTube or something we could actually see rollout to all users, the change is likely to be an unwelcome one/.
In Q2 2022, YouTube brought in $6.87 billion in revenue, over a billion dollars lesser than the projected $7.51 billion expectations Google had. This could be one of the reasons behind the Premium push.
In India, the Premium subscription costs Rs 139 per month without auto-renewal and Rs 129 per month with auto-renewal. The latter also includes a free month. There are also quarterly and annual subscription offers that are priced at Rs 399 and Rs 1290.
Premium subscribers get no ads, support for downloading videos to watch offline (only from the YouTube app) and support for PiP (picture-in-picture). Users also get access to YouTube Music as part of the subscription.