It was annoying, but at least it didn’t last very long. Sometime in September, YouTube started requiring Premium subscription to play videos in 4K quality. The requirement was not imposed on all users, but it was met with quite a bit of negative feedback from users who did see it. Now, it appears YouTube has given up on this idea – for now. In a response to a recent tweet criticizing the feature, YouTube’s official account said the company has “fully turned off this experiment.” Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) “Viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership,” the tweet said. There’s no word on whether the experiment was successful in some way, or whether YouTube plans to reinstate this requirement at a later date. YouTube is a free, ad-supported service, but YouTube Premium offers an ad-free experience for $11.99 per month. Other perks include the ability to download videos for offline viewing, as well as watching videos in the background.
In recent months, YouTube has become more aggressive in pushing YouTube Premium onto users, with frequent prompts to upgrade on one hand, and an increased number of ads (some unskippable) on the free service. In September last year, the company announced it had 50 million YouTube Premium subscribers.