Earlier this month, YouTube conducted an experiment where it asked some free users to upgrade to a premium account to watch videos in 4K resolution. The company has now ended this test – likely due to user uproar.
In a tweet, YouTube confirmed the end of the experiment, saying, “viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without a Premium membership.” For example, all users can now watch the highest resolution videos without paying for a subscription.
YouTube ran the test to measure user reactions when a certain feature was pushed behind the premium tier. In a tweet that has since been deletedThe company told a user who received a popup asking to upgrade that the user was “part of our experiment to learn more about the feature preferences of Premium and non-Premium viewers.”
Google charges $9.99 per month for YouTube Music and $11.99 per month for YouTube premium in the US – these prices vary around the world. Company claims to have over 50 million paid subscribers for both offers worldwide. The Premium plan offers features such as ad-free viewing, video downloads for offline consumption, and background playback.
YouTube is trying many ways to convert free users into paid users. Earlier this year, it conducted an experiment showing users up to 11 ads that cannot be skipped before a long video starts to let them have an uninterrupted experience. This test was short-lived, and the company ended it within days.
Last week, YouTube introduced a new feature called “handles” — similar to what other social networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook offer — that allow creators to easily direct viewers to their channel.