YouTube might soon hide 4K resolution behind a paywall [Updated]

2K resolution remains unaffected

Update 04/10/2022 09:37am ET: YouTube confirmed via a Twitter reply that the 4K paywall was an “experiment” to gauge Premium and non-Premium viewers’ feature preferences. The company is asking users to leave feedback about the restriction so that it can “make improvements.”

Original story below…

A few Reddit and Twitter users said they had to subscribe to YouTube Premium to watch videos in 4K (2160p) resolution.

First reported by MacRumours, the development comes soon after YouTube was found to be testing up to 10 unskippable ads for non-premium users.

The limitation doesn’t seem to be affecting all users. It is currently unknown if the 4K resolution paywall is country or device-specific, or if it’s just an internal test that YouTube is conducting which will never materialize. It’s worth noting that 1440p 2K resolutions remain unaffected.

Those who primarily use YouTube on their smartphone likely won’t feel the impact of this unless YouTube paywalls more common resolutions, like 1080p. On the other hand, those who use YouTube primarily on their 4K smart TVs are sure to be unhappy with the development.

YouTube Premium is priced at $11.99/month or $111.99/annually in Canada.

Image credit: u/MCL_Malone

Source: MacRumours