YouTube ends the test and urges users to purchase a premium subscription to watch 4K videos • TechCrunch


Earlier this month, YouTube ran an experiment asking some free users to upgrade to a premium account to watch videos in 4K resolution. The company has now ended this test – probably due to the uproar of the users.

In a tweet, YouTube confirmed the end of the experiment, saying, “Viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions even without a premium membership.” So now all users can watch videos in the highest resolution without paying a subscription.

YouTube conducted the test to understand user reactions when a specific feature was moved past the premium tier. in the a now-deleted tweetthe company told a user who received a pop-up asking to upgrade that the user “was part of our experiment to better know the feature settings of premium and non-premium viewers.”

Google charges $9.99 per month for YouTube Music and $11.99 per month for YouTube Premium in the US. These prices vary worldwide. The company claims to have more than 50 million paying subscribers worldwide across both offerings. The premium subscription comes with features like ad-free viewing, video downloads for offline consumption, and background playback.

YouTube tries many ways to convert free users into paid users. Earlier this year, it ran an experiment in which users were shown up to 11 non-skippable ads before starting a long video so they could have an uninterrupted experience. This test was short-lived and the company ended it within days.

Last week, YouTube launched a new feature called Handles, which is similar to what other social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook offer, allowing creators to easily direct viewers to their channel.


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