Earlier this month YouTube was asking some non-Premium users to upgrade to a Premium Subscription to view 4K content. There were concerns YouTube might be placing 4K content behind a paywall. Turns out it was just an experiment to “gauge users’ reactions”.
In a tweet, YouTube confirmed the end of the experiment and said, “viewers should now be able to access 4K quality resolutions without Premium membership.” So all users can now watch videos at the highest resolution without paying for a subscription.
It is not clear if their ‘experiment’ was only to last two weeks or they were able to quickly gangue users’ reactions were not positive. Regardless, users do not need (for now) a $12 USD per month YouTube Premium subscription to view 4K content.