YouTube wants to allow 4K streaming only for premium subscribers in the future

YouTube’s testing doesn’t end with testing endless ads before clips to see how much patience users have before switching to a premium subscription. It looks like premium video quality could soon be hiding behind it too, as already some users have found themselves having to pay extra to access the 4K resolution option. At the moment not all accounts have this limitation, so this seems to be a new test.

YouTube Premium could include 4K playback among ‘perks’, limiting access to high quality for non-subscribers

A few YouTube users have revealed via screenshots on their phones and PCs that Google is preparing to expand the Premium subscription to the “quality” area as well. Currently, we can watch all YouTube content for free, with the cost of the service covered by ads displayed before or in the type of clips. Free does not limit access to the highest quality video, however, and you can play clips in 4K or 8K without any problems.

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This will no longer be the case if this test is really put into practice. 1440p could become the highest resolution “free”, and those who want more will be able to pay for Premium, automatically getting the rest of the perks. We’re talking about the complete removal of ads, the ability to play sound in the background on your smartphone, local downloading of videos and unlimited access to the YouTube Music service.

source: reddit

Basically, people who used YouTube on their mobile phone wouldn’t be affected by the resolution limitation anyway, as there are very few phones with 4K screens, and at those sizes the difference would be insubstantial anyway. Even those who use YouTube on a PC or laptop won’t see much difference, as their most popular screens are still 1080p and QHD. Only those who consume a lot of YouTube on smart TVs might be tempted to upgrade to Premium for access to 4K resolution, as there, on the big screen, the difference is immediately obvious.

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