YouTube ends test that required subscription for watching 4K videos
YouTube created an uproar among its users when it locked the ability to watch videos in 4K resolution behind its Premium wall. The company has now announced through one of its official Twitter accounts that it has turned off the restriction. This was part of one of YouTube's experiments to entice its free users to the Premium tier.
Why does this story matter?
- YouTube is going through a lean patch. In the last quarter, its revenue grew only a minuscule 5%.
- For a company that is used to double-digit growth rates, anything below that is slow. It seems that YouTube has identified a fix for the issue - more Premium subscribers.
- However, the company should take into consideration how users respond to these experiments.
YouTube wanted to gauge user reaction to the restriction
Last month, YouTube started restricting 4K videos to its Premium subscribers. This restriction wasn't universal though. Those who were restricted found "Premium" written below the 2160p. The company conducted the test to understand users' reactions when a feature is pushed to the premium tier. As expected, people were fuming. Some considered this as YouTube's downfall, while others were more understanding.
YouTube has 'fully turned off the experiment'
YouTube's announcement that it has "fully turned off the experiment" came as a response to a snarky reply to one of its tweets. TeamYouTube, one of YouTube's several handles, wrote, "viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership. We're here if you have other q's (questions)." We are not sure how many people the test actually affected.
YouTube made the announcement in reply to a tweet
we've fully turned off this experiment. viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership. we're here if you have other q's— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 17, 2022
You can give your feedback to the experiment
YouTube's rollback of the feature isn't an assurance. For all we know, the company might just make 4K videos a premium feature. We have seen far more unpopular features making it to the streaming site. Therefore, if you feel strongly about YouTube's recently conducted experiment, you should leave your feedback. In a tweet, YouTube has provided instructions for giving direct feedback.
YouTube tested 10 unskippable ads in video last month
YouTube is always pushing free users to the Premium tier. In India, you have to pay Rs. 129/month to get access to premium features. It was only last month the company pushed 10 unskippable ads into a video's break. These tests help YouTube understand how people will react if it makes a change to the platform.