Sundar Pichai announced two months ago that Google would be cutting costs. As a result, the Pixel laptop hardware team was shut down, half of the experimental projects at Area 120 were canceled, Project Loon’s technology was sold to a different company, and Google Stadia was killed.
Google’s budget department may be coming for YouTube next. MacRumors says that YouTube is trying out putting a paywall in front of 4K video resolution so that only YouTube Premium subscribers can see it.
Since a month ago, there have been reports that this experiment is affecting some users. When choosing a resolution, every option is available except “2160p” (4K), which says “Premium” next to it. If you want to watch videos of the best quality, it will cost you $11.99 per month.
Stadia, Google’s game-streaming service that was just shut down, had a similar way of charging, with 4K being an extra cost.
Google has tried other ways to make more money from YouTube recently. Some users saw as many as 10 ads they couldn’t skip before a video last month. Google later said that the move was an “experiment” that it “concluded,” which seems to mean that it’s not going to happen.
Depending on how well the idea is received, the same thing could happen with the idea of putting a paywall around the 4K resolution. When we asked Google PR for a comment, the company said it didn’t have anything to say at this time.
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