YouTube Introduces Offline Viewing in India, Philippines and Indonesia

  • Thursday, December 11th, 2014
  • Author: Tim Maytom
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youtube offlineYouTube has rolled out a new feature in India, the Philippines and Indonesia, enabling users to take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity.

Videos with this option available can be added to an offline playlist with a single tap, and can be played back without the need for an Internet connection for up to 48 hours following being taken offline. The feature will focus on popular local content initially, from Hindi movies to local comedy.

“Imagine trying to watch the new trailer for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge – the longest running Bollywood love story with over 20 years in the box office – but the video buffers every five seconds,” said Jay Akkad, product manager for YouTube. “Or imagine only being able to watch the first minute of it, before stepping out of the wi-fi zone at the mall.

“Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of their favourite content.”

Asian markets are proving to be increasingly mobile-first, but access to high-speed affordable data remains inconsistent, especially for users outside major cities. By enabling offline viewing in these markets, YouTube hopes to maintain a connection with users who would otherwise be unreachable.

YouTube hasnt revealed how advertising will function on offline videos, or even if it will appear at all. If the feature proves popular or is extended to additional countries, the (potential) loss in ad revenues from offline viewing may well become an issue.