A couple of weeks back, we reported some viewers facing restrictions when changing the resolution to 4K on YouTube. A Reddit user shared his plight about being unable to watch 4K videos. The YouTube app asked him to upgrade to a Premium subscription to stream in 4K. So, the news blew up and drew flak from many users and publications.
However, YouTube shared a piece of surprising news on Twitter. It announced that the experiment of confining 4K streaming behind a paywall was over. Now, users can freely access 4K content, and I,t doesn’t have any plans to do the same in the future.
YouTube 4K streaming experiments: But why?
Every social app needs to make money. YouTube already has an infuriating amount of ad integration for free users. Moreover, it generates quite big revenue from selling advertising services. The next source of money-making is the YouTube Premium subscription which adds a bunch of features and removes ads.
But YouTube isn’t content with the current inflow of revenue and wants to generate more profits. Like every other tech company, it aims to boost revenue year after year. So, shoving multiple ads in the users’ faces seems like an apt choice as pe,r the owners. It is done to frustrate users to such an extent that they upgrade to the premium tier.
Since that didn’t work, YouTube experimented by reserving some features only for premium users. But the 4K streaming experiment didn’t end the way it expected. Some supported the idea, but most were unhappy to not have the option to stream in maximum resolution. Earlier, YouTube restricted in-app video downloading to 360p for non-premium users.
If you compare the advantages of the Premium plan versus the free one, there isn’t anything convincing to make the upgrade except removing the ads. PIP and highest-quality downloading are a few exceptions, but you can enjoy YouTube videos even without that. We are missing YouTube Vanced, an app that made the YouTube streaming experience more enjoyable. But the app bit the dust a few months back and hasn’t shown any chances of revival.