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YouTube confirms crackdown on VPN-based cheaper Premium subscriptions

The company will verify your current location against your signup location.
By

Published onJune 20, 2024

YouTube premium app on smartphone stock photo (3)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Some YouTube Premium subscriptions recently started getting canceled for using VPNs to access cheaper regional pricing.
  • A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the company has systems to detect discrepancies between signup countries and actual user locations.
  • YouTube will require such users to update their billing information to match their current country of residence.

We recently reported that users who used a VPN to subscribe to YouTube Premium were receiving notifications about their subscriptions being canceled. Now, the company has officially confirmed that it is taking action against such subscriptions.

YouTube Premium subscriptions are priced differently across various countries to reflect the purchasing power parity of different currencies. However, many users have been circumventing YouTube’s standard subscription fee (e.g., $14 per month in the US) by using VPNs to appear as though they are in regions where the subscription is cheaper.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a YouTube spokesperson said, “To provide the most accurate plans and offers available, we have systems in place to determine the country of our users. In instances where the signup country does not match where the user is accessing YouTube, we’re asking members to update their billing information to their current country of residence.”

Although YouTube declined to comment to TechCrunch on specific cancellations, a Google support agent confirmed to PCMag that accounts identified as having falsified signup country information are being terminated. Affected users have been receiving an email and in-app notification informing them of the cancellation.

This move is part of what seems like YouTube’s broader effort to enforce its policies more strictly. Recently, the company also began injecting server-side ads to combat the widespread use of ad blockers on its platform.

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