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YouTube Showed Sporadic Error Messages Saying Payment Required to Watch Videos

UPDATED: YouTube was sporadically returning error messages Monday (Oct. 29) for users trying to play back videos, less than two weeks after the internet video service experienced an hour-plus-long outage.

Error messages included “This video requires payment to watch” — for videos that are free to watch — as well as one that said, “We are experiencing problems with our servers. Please try again later.” Sometimes the same videos played properly if the site was refreshed.

At 4:12 p.m. ET, the Team YouTube account on Twitter began telling users who reported problems that the issues were fixed.

Earlier, Team YouTube said it was “currently investigating” the glitches after seeing similar reports. In a post at 3:54 p.m. ET, the Team YouTube account said, “There’s no fix just yet, but we’ll let you know when it’s resolved.”

The website DownDetector.com showed a spike in users’ error-message reports for YouTube starting shortly after 2 p.m. ET, with most reporting trouble watching videos. According to DownDetector.com’s map of the error reports, the problems appeared to mainly affect users on the East Coast of the U.S.

Reps for YouTube didn’t respond to a request for more information.

On Oct. 16, YouTube had global access problems for around 90 minutes, with issues that also affected the YouTube TV and YouTube Music services. The company apologized and issued credits to YouTube TV subscribers, but did not explain the cause of the outage.

Here’s what the YouTube error message telling users a video required “payment to watch” looked like on Monday:

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