In a bid to make its subscription service more attractive, YouTube has increased its offline playback resolution.
YouTube Premium subscribers get access to perks like no ads, videos playing in the background, and offline playback. But until recently, videos downloaded for offline use could only be 720p resolution, even if the source video was higher.
YouTube was supposed to raise the download quality limit to 1080p in February. Now the feature has finally rolled out. Android Police first spotted the feature on an Android TV device, while someone else had the option on an iPhone. It seems like the feature is rolling out to all YouTube Premium subscribers in waves.
YouTube Premium costs $12/month and offers access to YouTube Music Premium. The smaller resolution limit made sense a few years ago, but with 5G around the corner, it was time for the increase.
The streaming video giant has been trying to make itself the premier destination for content. But adoption rates for YouTube Music, in particular, are abysmal. We reported in November that the music app fell out of the top ten video streaming services in the U.S.
Despite launching in more than 63 countries, most people prefer a dedicated music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music. It doesn’t help that YouTube video ripping sites make it easy to listen to the content without subscribing.
Music content only makes up about 5% of all content on YouTube, but it drives 20% of the total views. A recent study confirmed that the music category drives nearly 100% more views as the next category (entertainment). Music is by far the most profitable category on the platform.
Unfortunately, YouTube’s relationship with the music industry has been testy at best. At least the subscriber experience is getting a long-overdue upgrade. My primary reason for subscribing to YouTube has absolutely nothing to do with offline playback, though.