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If you used a VPN to get YouTube Premium, your account might get canceled

Published Jun 20th, 2024 4:41PM EDT
YouTube Premium
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Depending on how much time you spend on the most popular video-sharing site in the world, a YouTube Premium subscription could be a worthwhile purchase. That said, the $13.99 price tag in the US is a touch steep, which is why some people are using VPNs to take advantage of the service’s regional pricing by signing up after changing their location.

While YouTube Premium costs $13.99 a month in the US, it’s far cheaper in other countries. For instance, a subscription costs just 869 ARS in Argentina, which is less than $1 USD. In India, it’s only 129 INR ($1.54), and in Ukraine, it’s 99 UAH ($2.44).

It’s a clever workaround, but one that YouTube has seemingly started cracking down on.

In a Reddit thread this week (via Android Authority), Redditor Alopez1024 shared a screenshot of an email from YouTube letting them know that their YouTube Premium subscription had been canceled. They claim that they didn’t cancel the subscription manually or change their payment information. In other words, YouTube canceled the subscription for them.

Several other users responded, noting that their accounts had also been canceled after signing up from locations other than where they actually live.

“Confirmed it’s a crackdown on cheap VPN subscriptions,” said McNuggetty. “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 cancelled until I sign up with a UK card and address. From £2.30 a month to £12.99. Yikes….”

During the writing of this article, YouTube confirmed the crackdown on VPN users. Here’s what a YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch on Thursday:

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.

Some users said that their accounts are still active despite using a VPN to sign up, but it sounds like it’s only a matter of time before YouTube forces everyone to subscribe from the country they live in. Be on the lookout if you used this method to sign up.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.