When it comes to a new product launch or some new service being rolled out, India and other south-east Asian countries are not usually anybody’s first except for when a product being launched in its homeland. But Google seems to have taken the responsibility for changing this trend. India was the first nation to be gifted with the Android One smartphones by Google an now, the tech giant has gifted us with another first. YouTube offline playback service has been introduced and India, Indonesia and Philippines are the first nations to get it.
The announcement for the offline playback service for YouTube was made back in September at the Google I/O event along with Android One. The service works with the updated YouTube app and allows you to store videos in the cache memory of your phone for viewing later upto a period of 48 hours. This can be done by clicking on the “Add video to Offline button” next to the video. This button looks like the average download button. Not that selected videos are available for viewing offline as of now. Once you click the button, you will be asked the video quality in which you want to save it (360p or 720p). You can then access the videos added to the Offline playlist by accessing them from the side menu.
This however is not similar to downloading videos as the videos will automatically be deleted from the cache memory of your device after a period of 48 hours. The motive behind this is to make sure you can watch videos on YouTube even if you dont have internet connectivity for a period of time. This is also the main reason for the service being released in developing nations like India, Indonesia and Philippines. The poor wireless internet connectivity in these nations is ideal for this feature so users can view and save videos when they have internet connectivity and enjoy it upto 2 days with no internet connectivity. Facts like just 10% of the 900 million phone users own a smartphone in India makes India ideal for a service like this and also highlights the fact that there is plenty of growth potential in India and similar nations.
This is what Jay Akkad, YouTube’s product manager for the Asia Pacific region had to say on the matter:
YouTube offline is just a start. We hope to keep finding better ways to make video content more affordable and accessible to our growing base of YouTube mobile users in the region,”
There is no news on when will this service be available in other nations but it sure looks like India has become an upcoming market for Google. After the Android One program,Google has been gifting us with many products like the Nexus products finally arriving on the Google Play Store India and then the Chromecast being made available day before yesterday. If things keep on going this way, India could soon be one of the biggest market for Google, considering its large population. What do you think? leave your views in the comments below and stay tuned for more updates.