At this point it is no longer surprising that there are features that are initially free for all users on many Internet platforms, only to later become exclusive features for paying subscribers.
But the most striking case is being seen by a small group of users on YouTube in recent weeks. And it is that Google’s social video platform is testing the fact that videos at 4K resolution, and higher if available, become exclusively for YouTube Premium subscribers.
Looking to save costs and increase subscribers
YouTube was ahead of its time in the commitment to 4K videos when it was a resolution practically unknown among the general public, bringing support in 2010, years before 2014 arrived as the year of its popularity took off.
In addition, support for 8K videos has been present since its arrival in 2015.
The small group of users participating in the current test will now see that to watch a video at 4K, or higher if available, they will need to become a YouTube Premium subscriber. In the resolution selector you will see for these resolutions a label that points to the need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber.
Google will thus try to offer an additional benefit for YouTube Premium subscribers at the cost of taking away from other users something that they have been able to do for many years.
Depending on the results, Google will take one action or anotherbut users who have become participants in this test have shared their impressions on social platforms such as Twitter or Reddit (1,2).
This test follows a very recent test that offered up to 10 ads in a row, without the ability to skip them, before viewing the content for those who are not YouTube Premium subscribers.
It seems that Google is preparing to face a stage in which both it and other technology companies are reducing expenses through a series of reorganizations for which, among other things, it will also close Stadia, the game streaming platform from the cloud, as we learned last week.