You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit.

General YouTube Feature 1
On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying YouTube Premium subscriber. Not all users are seeing the 4K quality option blocked behind YouTube's paywall, and it's unclear if YouTube plans to move forward with this.


A standard YouTube Premium plan costs $11.99 in the United States and includes ad-free videos, background playback, and the ability to download videos for offline viewing. We've reached out to YouTube for comment on 4K video quality possibly becoming a YouTube Premium feature and we'll update this article if we hear back.

Tag: YouTube

Top Rated Comments

Valve1138 Avatar
9 weeks ago
That’s nice. I’ll continue to not subscribe.
Score: 167 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kobaltz Avatar
9 weeks ago
Years from now, YouTube will say that they're not getting enough revenue from ads because too many people are subscribed to Premium, so they'll start introducing ads into YouTube Premium. But you can opt out of ads by upgrading to YouTube Premium Pro.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
infinitejest Avatar
9 weeks ago
I'd rather watch in 480p than paying $12 for YouTube...
Score: 79 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Squuiid Avatar
9 weeks ago
Just leaving this here...
https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/vinegar-tube-cleaner/id1591303229

https://daringfireball.net/linked/2021/11/27/vinegar

https://9to5mac.com/2021/12/04/safari-native-youtube-app-player/
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
9 weeks ago
Because paying extra for 4K went so well for Netflix, right Google?
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vtuberalpha Avatar
9 weeks ago
Typical YouTube move: locking a system feature and now a simple resolution behind a subscription paywall.

I'm off to sideloading an ad-free YouTube IPA which supports 4K then and saying goodbye to this ****show.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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