YouTube is among the most successful Google products, but lately, it is a far cry from being perfect. The last couple of years have been a huge turning point for YouTube, which is super aggressive about monetization. Apart from multiple ads in a single video and confining many features for Premium users, YouTube now plans to reserve the 4K feature for paying users only.
This sounds like the start of something very problematic for users who can access videos in 4K. It is the first thing someone tries when they buy a new TV, display, or laptop. But it seems that you would have to pay up for those extra pixels.
YouTube 4K videos for a price, but why?
Like every other tech giant out there, YouTube thrives on profits. Expectations grow year on year, and management comes up with ‘not-so-genius’ methods to extract more money from your pocket. YouTube has started isolating many features from regular subscribers. Even if you want to download a video inside the app, it confines you to 360p. HD and FHD resolutions are for premium subscribers only.
A Reddit user faced this issue while switching the resolution to 4K on his YouTube app. The 2160p resolution settings had a label describing how he needed to upgrade to see videos in that resolution. We tried playing the same video on YouTube, but no such popup appeared for the 2160p resolution setting. YouTube may have already begun targeting users in some regions to see if they are paying up.
While the idea of 4K videos only for premium subscribers is disheartening, it could save a lot of computing resources for YouTube. It could save a lot of money by limiting access to 4K videos which require maximum bandwidth to stream. YouTube Premium isn’t cheap if you compare it with Disney+ and Netflix. Other streaming platforms offer thousands of shows and movies, while YouTube doesn’t.
All it has is a bunch of original shows and is largely dependent on creators to keep users hooked to the platform. YouTube has been taking a lot of decisions; lately, the biggest one was to hide dislikes and completely wreck the working of the dislike button.