YouTube is apparently in experimental mode and unfortunately for users, none of their testing and/or testing seems to benefit those who use the ad-supported (free) version of the service. The last time we talked about this, it was 10+ spam ads before a video. This time? 4K resolution videos behind YouTube Premium paywalls.
As pointed out by a user on Twitter, the quality settings of a YouTube video showed that the service is testing the idea of putting 4K resolution and behind premium paywalls. This means that unless you pay for a premium subscription, the highest quality video you can watch is 1440p. While that resolution will be enough for some, anyone looking to enjoy the latest Droid Life video in 4K will have to pay for the pleasure.
In response to that user, YouTube said, “It appears to be part of our testing to better understand the feature preferences of premium and non-premium viewers.”
Grammatical errors aside (and who cares about grammar on Twitter, anyway?), YouTube saying they want to test what paid vs. non-paid users prefer in terms of quality seems odd. I pay for my subscription, but I never watch videos in 4K. 1080p is enough for me, as I imagine it is for most others. What exactly are they trying to accomplish with this test? Personally, it seems like they’re just trying to put as many features as possible behind its premium paywall before people start complaining.
Should 4K be a premium feature?
If YouTube introduces 4K as the first premium feature, sure, keep it that way. However, that is not what is happening. 4K support has been around for a while for all users (paid and non-paid), so you can’t go back and make it premium now that people are familiar with accessing it. That’s not the way things work. At least, that’s not the way things should work.
I’m sure we have people around here who have thought about this. I want to hear them. Is it fine to control YouTube’s bandwidth based on how much you pay for it? Or should all users have access to any video quality?
Oh! It appears to be part of our experiment to better understand the feature preferences of premium and non-premium visitors. If you have more thoughts, you can share them here so we can improve: https://t.co/P97P6LUQmf
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 2, 2022