YouTube terminates subscriptions of VPN users accessing cheaper Premium plans from other countries

YouTube has intensified its efforts against users employing VPNs to secure cheaper YouTube Premium subscriptions, following its recent actions against ad blockers. Reports reveal that YouTube Premium subscribers using VPNs are finding their subscriptions automatically terminated by the platform, as confirmed by several users sharing their experiences on Reddit.

YouTube’s Response

According to a spokesperson from YouTube, the company employs systems to accurately determine users’ countries for offering appropriate subscription plans. When discrepancies arise between a user’s sign-up location and their current access point, YouTube requests users to update their billing details to match their actual country of residence, Techcrunch reported

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Timeline of Actions

When questioned about the timeline of these cancellations, a support representative mentioned, “This action was recently implemented, although the exact date is unspecified.”

Regional Pricing Disparities

Numerous users had taken advantage of regional pricing disparities, particularly in countries like Ukraine where YouTube Premium costs as little as $2.40 per month. This stands in stark contrast to prices in countries such as the US and UK, where the service can cost upwards of $14 or $15 monthly for an individual plan. YouTube had previously raised its US Premium rates from $12 to $14 per month last July, extending this adjustment to long-term subscribers in January.

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Impact of VPNs

VPNs, typically used for safeguarding online privacy and security by masking IP addresses linked to geographic locations, can also be configured to make it appear as though a user is accessing the internet from a different country. This functionality has allowed users in higher-cost regions to exploit lower subscription rates available in economically smaller markets or access content restricted to specific regions.

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YouTube’s Strategy

YouTube’s crackdown on VPN usage is part of its broader strategy to enforce fair pricing and subscription practices across its international user base, aligning with its efforts to uphold consistent service standards globally.