Skip to content

YouTube starts cancelling Premium plans bought via VPN

  • by
  • 2 min read

YouTube has begun cancelling subscriptions for those who used virtual private networks (VPNs) to purchase YouTube Premium at lower rates in other countries.

First reported by Android Police, citing numerous reports on forums, this crackdown comes after YouTube targeted ad-blockers to raise its revenue.

The tactic involves using a VPN to alter one’s apparent location to a country where YouTube Premium is more affordable. For instance, while YouTube Premium in the United States costs $13.99 monthly for ad-free videos, YouTube Music, and offline downloads, the same service is available for approximately Rs. 129 per month ($1.54) in India.

This considerable price difference has led many users to exploit VPNs to benefit from lower rates, bypassing regional pricing structures.

YouTube is now increasing efforts to combat this issue. YouTube told The Verge that the platform has implemented measures to identify users’ locations.

Pennigton mentioned, “If the country used during signup does not align with the user’s current location, we request members to update their billing information to reflect their true country of residence.”

This crackdown by YouTube is seen as an extension of the earlier campaign against ad-blockers.

While Pennigton did not explicitly confirm the initiation of automatic subscription cancellations for VPN users, the recent surge in terminated subscriptions indicates a stringent approach.

This crackdown is part of a broader effort by YouTube to ensure compliance with its service terms and pricing strategies. The platform has recently intensified its campaign against ad blockers, aiming to maintain its revenue streams from subscriptions and ad-supported models.

Targeting cheaper Premium subscriptions via Premium subscriptions via VPNs seems to be a logical extension of these efforts.

The implications of this move are far-reaching. For users in countries with higher subscription costs, it represents the closure of a popular workaround for accessing Premium features at a fraction of the local price. It also raises questions about the future of VPN use with streaming services and the broader issue of global pricing strategies in the digital content market.

Last month, it was reported that adblockers are making YouTube videos skip to the end.

In the News: Indian Finance Ministry fines Binance $2.25 million for PMLA non-compliance

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: