YouTube ends controversial experiment with Premium 4K playback

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Several days ago, YouTube users discovered a somewhat bewildering change: the service started requiring subscribing to Premium to watch videos in 4K. Naturally, such a radical attempt to make users pay for YouTube sparked a hot discussion in the community, causing massive criticism. Shortly after, Google decided to backtrack and ditch the idea of putting 4K video playback behind the paywall.

Team YouTube's official Twitter account has revealed that paid 4K streaming was an experiment, and the company has "fully turned it off." Now all users should be able to watch high-resolution videos on all platforms without subscribing to YouTube Premium.

Google did not comment on why it abandoned the idea. It is not hard to believe that overwhelmingly negative customer feedback was among the main deciding factors. Still, Team YouTube asked another frustrated customer to leave feedback about the experiment, so it is possible that YouTube has not fully put the idea to bed.

YouTube Premium is a $12/mo service that removes all ads from YouTube and provides access to YouTube Music and YouTube Originals. The subscription is infamous for its continuous and explicitly annoying attempts to convert regular users to paid subscribers every time someone opens the YouTube app. Judging from the community reaction to Google's latest experiment, the company has crossed the line this time.

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