YouTube has begun offering the ability to play 1080p videos at higher bit rates on its site, but only for YouTube Premium subscribers. Earlier, the service added the feature for iOS users and is preparing to launch it on Android. The new option delivers videos with more information per pixel, which provides better quality without the need for a higher resolution.

YouTube opens up access to higher bitrate videos on the site, but only for premium subscribers

The video service began testing higher bitrate videos earlier this year, and the option to switch is located above the standard 1080p resolution in the YouTube player menu. For users who are not premium subscribers, the service is offering to pay for the option by subscribing to YouTube Premium.

Higher bit rates – a measure of the amount of video data transmitted in a given amount of time – can provide viewers with better quality without having to stream the larger files associated with higher resolutions. While the 4K option is available for more and more videos, it requires a fast Internet connection and consumes a lot of traffic, which can be critical for users with limited Internet packages.

In addition to 1080p video at higher bit rates, YouTube Premium offers other benefits. These include ad-free video viewing, offline viewing, and background playback. Along with access to YouTube’s paid features, users also get a subscription to YouTube Music, which makes the offer quite attractive given the relatively low cost of YouTube Premium subscriptions in Ukraine.