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YouTube pulls back on Premium subscription test for 4K video

That didn’t last long.

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Image: KnowTechie

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Earlier this month, some users noticed that YouTube was testing a Premium subscription requirement for 4K videos. It didn’t last long, however, as the company has already pulled back on the test.

Initially brought to our attention by users on Reddit, Redditors noticed the new requirement when trying to watch 4K YouTube videos.

The test required that users sign up for YouTube Premium, a $12 per month subscription service that primarily offers an ad-free viewing experience, before they could watch videos in higher definition.

READ MORE: What are YouTube handles, and how do they work?

While the testing wasn’t widespread, several users reported seeing the new prompt. But as of now, YouTube has halted the test completely.

YouTube is known for testing interesting features and ways to get its users to sign up for Premium subscriptions.

Last month, the company began (and ended) a test that served up to 11 unskippable ads to free users before a video.

YouTube frankly wants you to subscribe to Premium

YouTube’s Premium subscription offers tons of benefits.

It gives you completely ad-free viewing, which can help you avoid all of those frustrating unskippable ads.

Premium also lets you download videos for offline viewing. Plus, you can let videos play in the background with a locked phone.

That’s a super useful feature for listening to things like podcasts or other long-form content that you don’t necessarily need to watch.

youtube premium logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Still, YouTube is continuously looking for ways to boost its subscriber count. The platform reported reaching the 50 million subscriber mark late last year.

50 million subscribers are pretty impressive for a platform that likely still makes the vast majority of its money from ad revenue.

But it’s on the lower end compared to traditional streaming subscriptions, like Disney Plus’s 130 million and Netflix’s 220 million users.

So be prepared for YouTube to continue trying to lure you into paying for YouTube Premium. At least you can take some peace knowing that many of its tests fail after a few days or weeks.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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