In the first week of October, YouTube scared us by locking 4K resolutions behind the YouTube Premium paywall for some users.
At the time, the limitation didn’t seem to be affecting all users, and might have just been a region-based test.
Now, in a reply to a Twitter user, YouTube says that the 4K paywall was an experiment that has been “fully turned off.” “Viewers should now be able to access 4K resolutions without Premium membership,” writes YouTube.
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
The platform does not explain why the test was conducted or why it isn’t going through with the change. It’s likely that a ton of negative feedback regarding the paywall caused YouTube to walk back the test
YouTube Premium is priced at $11.99/month or $111.99/annually in Canada and allows users to play videos completely ad-free, in the background, download videos for offline viewing and provides access to YouTube Music Premium.