comscore 4K video playback could be exclusive to YouTube Premium users: Report

YouTube could soon restrict 4K video playback only for Premium users of the platform

YouTube is testing 4K video playback for Premium users, which means if you are a non-Premium user, you will be restricted to playing YouTube videos at a max quality of 1440p.


YouTube Premium, formerly known as YouTube Red, is a subscription that offers an ad-free video viewing experience while also allowing users to play videos in the background. It comes with other features as well such as free YouTube Music, the ability to download any videos on the platform, and more. Now, it appears that YouTube may offer Premium users to exclusively play videos at the highest quality possible. Also Read - Google doesn’t want to miss 2022 FIFA World Cup, so it has launched cross-platform features to help you get updates

A Reddit post revealed that YouTube is testing 4K video playback, which is 2160p resolution, for the YouTube Premium plan. This means only Premium subscribers will be able to play videos at 4K and above. Also Read - YouTube Music and Premium reach 80 mn paid subscribers milestone

Non-Premium users will be limited to a maximum of 1440p playback. As per the screenshot shared online, the video quality section will show all the possible quality options for a particular video and if the video is 4K (2160p resolution), it will be locked for Non-Premium users. Also Read - YouTube starts rolling out its TikTok rival Shorts on TV globally

Only those who pay for YouTube’s monthly or yearly Premium subscription will be able to play videos in the highest quality, which means any quality above 4K, for instance, 8K.

For the unversed, YouTube supported 4K video playback for over a decade or more. However, even today, not many users appear to set 4K as their primary video streaming quality. Full HD, that’s 1080p appears to be still the standard even today.

Nonetheless, there are still many users that have switched to higher quality that’s 1440p and above, which YouTube may have noted, and hence, it appears to be cashing now for the same. While the feature is reported to be in testing, there’s no confirmation on the same by YouTube. That said, let’s wait until the YouTube official confirms this feature to Premium users.

Previously, YouTube was spotted testing 12 skippable ads on the platform. Later, the company revealed that such ads will be only for a select format called bumper ads, which will contain each ad of 6 seconds.

  • Published Date: October 3, 2022 12:47 PM IST
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