YouTube is Cracking Down on Premium Subscriptions Purchased Through VPNs

YouTube is Cracking Down on Premium Subscriptions Purchased Through VPNs

Reading time: 15 min

  • Shipra Sanganeria

    Written by: Shipra Sanganeria Cybersecurity & Tech Writer

  • Kate Richards

    Fact-Checked by Kate Richards Content Manager

YouTube is reportedly cracking down on users who’ve used VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to access cheaper Premium subscriptions by spoofing their purchase location. Although there’s no official announcement on YouTube’s site, several recent Reddit threads indicate users have been receiving emails informing them of automatic cancellations.

“Confirmed it’s a crackdown on cheap VPN subscriptions. Have just spoken to customer service who stated that as I ‘moved’ to a different location from the one I signed up at (Ukraine but UK based), the service has been canceled until I sign up with a UK card and address…” said one Redditor.

A YouTube support representative also informed PCMag that “YouTube has begun canceling premium memberships for accounts found to have falsified signup country information.” The agent clarified that this wave of cancellations was implemented recently, and users were notified about their plan cancellations through email and in-app notifications.

According to AndroidAuthority, many subscribers use the VPN workaround to conceal their country of origin and take advantage of YouTube Premium’s regional pricing policies. This allows them to subscribe at significantly lower rates available in countries such as India, Argentina, or Ukraine.

Google spokesperson Paul Pennington told The Verge that the company had “systems in place” to determine the location of its 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,” said Pennington.

This development comes in the wake of YouTube’s recent crackdown on ad-blockers and its effort to promote Premium subscriptions for users seeking an uninterrupted, ad-free experience.

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