Is YouTube Going to Start Charging Users to Watch Videos in 4K?

Is YouTube Going to Start Charging Users to Watch Videos in 4K?

Up until now, YouTube users could enjoy all the video features of the site so long as they were willing to sit through ads. That might change soon, as some users have reported that 4K video resolution has been removed as an option unless they pay for the $12 per month Premium subscription. 

Multiple Reddit and YouTube users have recently reported that when they tried to select 4K video resolution when watching YouTube videos, the option was shown as a premium-only feature.

YouTube Premium is $12/month ($120/year) service that offers benefits like ad-free videos and offline viewing, but up until this point, resolution was not a premium feature. Of course, this might just be a test that might not be rolled out to all users (I can still access 4K videos as of writing this), but if it is something that comes to fruition, it could have a significant impact on viewers and especially on creators. I love watching a lot of long-form videos on my TV and particularly enjoy the crispness of 4K, and I would certainly be disappointed if I lost the ability to do that for free. Beyond that, 4K is often seen as the professional standard among many creators, and it would likely be highly frustrating for them to lose the ability to reach the majority of their audiences in that resolution. 

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5 Comments
Reginald Walton's picture

Youtube can go kick rocks. But hey, if people want to give them money to watch videos in 4K, more power them them, but not from this camp!

Benoit .'s picture

This fall people should get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Daniel Lee's picture

1080p will be fine for me in that case, although I still have access to 4K for free.

Sam Sims's picture

I have a 4K monitor and although it's a fairly cheap 4K monitor, I don't really notice the difference between 1080p and 4K anyway. Still don't like greedy Google messing with people's user experience just to make more money for themselves. Their age restriction on videos where we are required to hand over credit card details or a scan of our passport is ridiculous, especially as the videos getting age restricted seems totally random anyway.

Stuart C's picture

4K is a hindrance in most cases anyway, 1080p videos just play with no buffering so I’m happy to stay on that.

Amusingly the YouTube app on my iPad often defaults to 480p even with our 50 meg broadband connection, why would I pay them for 4K video when their rubbish ad ridden app can’t even stream in 1080p