Free users may no longer be able to watch 4K YouTube videos

We all know YouTube hides some features behind a paywall, and that wall is YouTube Premium. Anyway, free users can still have a nice video watching experience. That being said, YouTube might reserve 4K videos for premium users.

Free users miss out on several fun perks you get with a premium subscription. They have to watch ads, they can’t try new experimental features, they can’t download videos, etc. These are the things that make people pay $11.99 a month. Despite this, they could still watch videos at the highest resolution available.

But 4K videos may soon only be for premium users

Before you take your torch and pitchfork, it might not happen. Right now, according to a tweet from Nils Ahrensmeier, the company is testing this. So free users might be off the hook, but we’ll have to wait for more information to be sure.

The tweet displays the list of resolutions in which you can watch a video. The top option, 2160p, has the text “Premium – Tap to upgrade” right next to it. This means that if you want to watch YouTube videos in crisp 4K resolution, you may eventually need to have a premium subscription.

This will definitely bother a lot of free users. Just recently, YouTube was criticized for the excessive amount of ads that free users have to watch. This is on top of other things like not always being able to listen to music with your screen off with YouTube Music.

At this time, it doesn’t appear YouTube has commented on this yet. If the company made a comment about it, you can expect a PR charge anyway – let’s be honest.

At the moment, you can watch 4K videos without a premium YouTube subscription. If the company pulls the trigger, you better take advantage of it while you can.

Shirley K. Rosa