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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit.


On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying YouTube Premium subscriber. Not all users are seeing the 4K quality option blocked behind YouTube's paywall, and it's unclear if YouTube plans to move forward with this.

A standard YouTube Premium plan costs $11.99 in the United States and includes ad-free videos, background playback, and the ability to download videos for offline viewing. We've reached out to YouTube for comment on 4K video quality possibly becoming a YouTube Premium feature and we'll update this article if we hear back.

Article Link: You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos


macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
Just leaving this here...



macrumors G3
Aug 29, 2008
Just leaving this here...
I use that, but sometime's it's flaky


macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
I have YouTube premium because it’s a godsend to not have ads on Apple TV. I watch hours of YouTube every day so it really is worth it. Limiting 4K to YouTube premium however, is stupid, and sounds exactly the same as how Netflix has an UHD option just for 4K on their platform.


macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2004
Typical YouTube move: locking a system feature and now a simple resolution behind a subscription paywall.

I'm off to sideloading an ad-free YouTube IPA which supports 4K then and saying goodbye to this ****show.
Maybe they will encrypt the 4k video feed.


macrumors G3
Aug 29, 2008
I'm a Youtube premium subscriber so I don't have to watch ads since there is so much classical music on Youtube. I really don't care since I don't have a 4K TV anyway and people should be grateful that they can watch Youtube for free in the first place.

Well of course you wouldn't care. You'd be benefitting from this.

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2010
This actually wouldn’t be so bad if YouTube had a more affordable pricing tier. As it stands you have to pay a ridiculous amount to get fairly basic/common features; and whilst 4K streaming may not be a requirement for everyone (especially as YouTube is used a lot on mobile devices/tablets/computers), it seems odd to bundle it with the current premium features.
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