Viewers might see a new option in YouTube's dropdown resolution menu on the web if they're paying for the video hosting platform's Premium subscription service. According to The Verge, YouTube's 1080p playback option with "enhanced bitrate" is now available on desktop around the world. It's located above the ordinary 1080p option in the menu, and clicking on it will prompt users to pay for Premium if they're not currently a subscriber.
YouTube started testing 1080p Premium earlier this year, describing it as a "version of 1080p which provides more information per pixel that results in a higher quality viewing experience." The higher bitrate, which is used as a measurement for the amount of video data transferred within a certain timeframe, it provides could give viewers a better quality without having to watch in higher resolution. Yes, 4K is available for some videos, but that means having to stream a larger file that not everyone's connection can handle and could eat up a significant portion of some people's data allowance.
The service also rolled out enhanced 1080p on iOS a few months ago, but now more people will have access to it. That said, YouTube recently raised the prices for a Premium subscription from $12 a month to $14 and from $120 a year to $140. It does eliminate ads from the viewing experience, though, and it comes with features other than enhanced 1080p, including offline viewing and background playback.