YouTube ends experiment requiring premium subscription for 4K viewing

After only succeeding in angering users who, already bombarded with ads, found they could no longer watch YouTube videos at 4K quality settings unless they paid for a YouTube Premium subscription, Google has decided to end an experiment deemed a failure.

Starting with testing endless ads before clips to see how much patience users have before switching to the Premium subscription, YouTube’s administrator also added an experiment restricting the 4K resolution option. If the plan succeeded, the 4K quality option (and beyond) would be added to the list of perks reserved for YouTube Premium subscribers, with Google gaining yet another argument for convincing the still-unsubscribed.

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Based on the experiences of a few YouTube users, who revealed via screenshots on their phones and PCs that Google was preparing to extend the Premium subscription to the “quality” area as well, the information quickly circulated on the profile sites, with enough negative reactions to cause the (at least temporary) abandonment of the plan. We will thus be able to watch all YouTube content without any limitations in terms of image quality, with the cost of the service covered by the ads displayed before or in the type of clips.

YouTube conducted the test to “measure” users’ reactions when a particular one is hidden behind the premium subscription. In a now-deleted tweet , the company told a user who received a request to upgrade to unlock the 4K quality option of inclusion in “our experiment to learn more about the feature preferences of Premium and non-Premium viewers”.

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YouTube confirmed the end of the experiment via a Twitter post: ‘viewers should now be able to access the 4K quality setting without a Premium subscription’. So all users can now watch videos at the highest resolution without paying for a subscription.

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