YouTube 4K video support will stay free after user backlash - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 18 October 2022

YouTube 4K video support will stay free after user backlash

After initially testing the idea of putting 4K video streaming behind its Premium paywall, YouTube has now canceled its experiment for good, it says.

The original plan was for YouTube to restrict 4K videos to those who pay for its YouTube Premium subscription service, one that people generally pay for as a way to rid themselves of ads. Those people would have gotten 4K video thrown in, but everyone else would have been stuck with 1080p HD. At least, that was the plan, and YouTube went so far as to roll out a test that implemented the new rules for some people.

But that is the plan no more after YouTube announced via Twitter that the initial experiment is now over and that people will continue to be able to "access 4K quality resolutions without premium membership".

we've fully turned off this experiment. viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership. we're here if you have other q's

â€" TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 17, 2022

The news comes after YouTube found itself on the end of user revolt over the plan, although the company has not given any public reason for its change of heart. It's possible this was the way things were always going to go, but why run the experiment at all if that was the case?

YouTube's desire to make people pay for high bitrate streams is obvious - data isn't cheap to move around and recouping some of that money is never a bad idea. With that in mind, don't be surprised if this experiment rears its head further down the line.

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