[Poll results out] Is Google becoming too greedy with its attempt to lock 4K videos behind YouTube Premium?

New updates are being added to the bottom of this story…

Original story (from Oct. 17, 2022) follows:

Google’s Ads business is at the soul of the company’s financial muscle. With products like Google Search and YouTube, ads have the ability to reach as many eyeballs as possible in every corner of the globe.

Granted, it is understandable whenever the company comes up with not only new ways to generate more money from ads, but also safeguard its core business from any predatory activities.

Last August, for instance, Google shut down a popular Discord music bot known as Groovy. With this bot, it was possible to “pull” music from YouTube videos and stream on Discord servers that have it installed.


In Google’s defense, Groovy was using YouTube resources for commercial reasons, which meant Google and YouTube creators gained nothing much from this arrangement.

A few weeks later, Google switched its attention to yet another Discord music bot known as Rhythm, the most popular at the time with over 560 million users. This bot worked in a similar manner to Groovy, but it was shut down as well.

Following this shutdown, we did ask you whether YouTube and Discord should consider coming up with an official music plug-in to replace Rythm and Groovy. The poll results weren’t surprising at all.


For many gamers, music bots are part of the Discord experience. But even so, Discord hardly bothered to take charge and instead, third-party players were left to develop these plugins.

Shutting them down meant there was a gap left behind — a gap that Discord and YouTube have elected to fill, at least officially this time around.

Not long after Google successfully shut down Groovy and Rhythm, Discord started testing official YouTube integration. Dubbed Watch Together, this feature is meant for Discord members to watch YouTube videos together.

But unlike Groovy and Rhythm, YouTube Together includes ads, which creates yet another avenue for Google to rack in more ad money.

While it has been rumored that shutting down the two music bots was related to YouTube Together, we cannot substantiate this claim. But it’s also hard to ignore the timing of Google’s actions.

Arguably, this suggests the shutdowns were done more for monopolistic and monetary grounds than legal reasons, something Google didn’t delve much into at the time.


With a combined following of over 800 million Discord users, there were better ways of handling this matter than shutting the bots down. But Google chose the extreme route in order to create a gap which it can then fill.

Earlier this year, Google continued with its efforts to rack in more ad money by sending yet another cease-and-desist notice to owners of Vanced, a popular YouTube fork that offered an ad-free experience.

With this move, Google basically wants you on the premium version and not Vanced, which would be okay if YouTube Premium wasn’t showing ads on multiple platforms.

Even worse is that YouTube Premium is available in only 95 countries globally, meaning those in unsupported regions who wish for and can afford to pay still have no option but to use the free version with ads.

It becomes even more infuriating that YouTube has been caught serving more than 5 ads with no option to skip, a move many consider sneaky from Google.

Click/tap to view

To add more insult to injury, Google is now reportedly contemplating locking 4K content behind a paywall, which means only Premium subscribers will be able to watch 4K videos.

If you can afford a 4K TV, then you can also afford to part ways with a few dollars and subscribe to YouTube Premium, at least that’s what Google thinks.

But if enabled, those in markets with no YouTube Premium will have to be content with up to 1440p videos, and that too with plenty of ads while at it.

While there’s no problem making more money from your products, at least make the experience across the board uniform for everyone.

No doubt these moves are designed to rack in more money for Google. But they also say volumes about the insatiable appetite that has the company doing everything possible to serve as many ads as possible.

Google may see them as shrewd business moves, but without improving the overall user experience, YouTube may be at risk of losing numbers due to what others believe is greed.

YouTube being greedy

I also have premium, is YouTube (Google) losing money to justify this or just greedy??

That said, we’d like to hear from you in the comments section as well as the poll below, whose results will be updated after a week.

Update (Oct. 24, 2022)

The results are here, and it seems an overwhelming 92.9% wouldn’t pay for YouTube Premium just for the sole purpose of watching 4K content, while the remaining 7.1% have no problem paying.

Featured image: Google

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.