YOUTUBE users could be forced to pay if they wish to continue using one of the site’s greatest features.
Fans have reported that 4K is set to become a paid option.
Some users shared screenshots on Reddit that now flag 2160p (4K resolution) as premium.
It tells people to “tap to upgrade”.
YouTube started supporting 4K back in 2010 and has been free ever since.
4K videos are more popular these days as phones capable of recording and playing in this format have become quite common.
But for services like YouTube, this means having a lot more space in their data centers to store all those bulky videos.
With more than 500 hours of content uploaded to the platform every minute, you can imagine how much data space Google requires, which doesn’t come cheap.
It’s not clear if 4K will be premium everywhere – or if it’s just a test.
The Sun has contacted Google to confirm.
According to comments on Reddit, not everyone is currently being asked to pay for 4K, so it could be rolled out gradually.
“It’ll probably be tested with specific users to see how many people get upset and if they think it’s worth it,” one user surmised.
While most were upset by the apparent move, others have supported it.
“I actually think locking this behind a paywall makes perfect sense,” said another commenter.
“People who care enough about watching videos at this high quality probably care enough to spend a little money on it…
“YouTube has never been profitable, so they have to make money somehow.”
Premium currently costs £11.99/$11.99 per month and is mainly used to go ad-free, play music without the screen on, as well as download content offline.
The development comes after reports that users have started seeing up to 10 non-skippable ads on YouTube in a single pause.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9505960/youtube-4k-paid-premium-google/ Millions of YouTube fans could lose a huge feature if they don’t pay – The Irish Sun