YouTube Rolls Out Enhanced 1080p Option to Premium Subscribers



YouTube, the popular video hosting platform, has confirmed the global launch of an “enhanced bitrate” 1080p option for all Premium subscribers on the desktop, as reported by Paul Pennington, the company spokesperson. The “1080p Premium” feature initially launched on iOS devices in April, following an early testing phase. It promises to make video content look sharper and more detailed, thereby enhancing the overall quality of the viewing experience.

How It Works

The 1080p Premium feature improves the bitrate rather than the resolution of video content, providing more information per pixel and ensuring a more visually enriching viewing experience. Despite the 1080p Premium option showing up for all users on the desktop, only those with a Premium subscription can utilize this feature. Non-subscribers clicking on the option are prompted to sign up for the paid service. It is important to note that the regular, non-enhanced 1080p option remains available to all users.


  • Desktop: The enhanced 1080p option is now available to Premium subscribers globally via YouTube on desktop.
  • iOS: This feature was first launched on iOS devices earlier this year.
  • Living Room Devices: YouTube has also started rolling out the enhanced 1080p option on living room-focused devices, including Chromecast and video game consoles.

However, the feature has not been made widely available on Android devices yet. There were isolated reports of the enhanced 1080p appearing for some Android users in June, but according to Pennington, no broader roll-out has taken place.

Impact of Enhanced Bitrate

Enhanced bitrate videos offer a significantly better quality of viewing, particularly for content rich in detail and motion. Without increasing resolution to 4K, which may not be manageable for all internet connections and could significantly impact data allowances, users can enjoy a higher quality of viewing through this improved bitrate.

Premium Subscription Changes

With the enhanced 1080p option now available for Premium subscribers, it’s important to note the changes in the subscription prices. YouTube’s Premium subscription rates have recently increased from $12 a month to $14, and from $120 a year to $140. This subscription not only offers enhanced bitrate viewing, but also includes additional features such as ad-free viewing, offline viewing, and background playback.

Anticipating Future Developments

As YouTube continues to expand its Premium service, it is anticipated that future developments will focus on tailoring viewing experiences to individual user preferences and internet capabilities. This could potentially include an automated selection of the optimal resolution and bitrate based on a user’s device and internet speed.

Moreover, YouTube might focus on improving compatibility with a wider range of devices, particularly Android-based ones, given that the enhanced 1080p option is currently not widely available for this operating system. Expanding availability to a wider range of devices will ensure that more users can benefit from the improved viewing quality.


YouTube’s roll-out of the enhanced 1080p option to Premium subscribers across different platforms indicates the company’s dedication to improving the viewing experience. Although the service is a bit more expensive than before, the superior quality and added benefits that come with the Premium subscription may well be worth it for users who seek an enhanced YouTube experience.

For more detailed information about YouTube’s latest features and changes, visit the official YouTube blog.

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