YouTube is going offline in India in the new few weeks, allowing users to save some videos, company exec Ceaser Sengupta announced at an event in Gurgaon, India, where Google launched the Android One handsets in the country. “YouTube is popular here. You watch some videos again and again. How awesome would it be if you could keep watching them again and again without having to pay for data, and take the videos with you wherever you go. Within the coming few weeks, much of YouTube will be available offline in India. This is huge, and our users will really, really like this. You can download a video once, save it to your phone, and watch it again and again,” Sengupta said at the event.
While this somewhat confirms what had been reported earlier in August by Android Police, about YouTube going offline with a service called “YouTube Music Key” priced at $9.99 per month. Sengupta didn’t share any details about whether this will be launched as a subscription service, but it appeared that the offline availability of videos will not be restricted to music videos. YouTube is a significant source of content in India, and for a while, I remember it being said that YouTube Search was the second largest search in India, second to Google Search. Given the terribly stretched mobile networks in India, consumers have struggled but persisted for viewing content.
What about YouTube Advertising?
It’s not clear how YouTube will monetize the videos that are kept for offline viewing, unless they have a subscription plan for which content providers get paid. Either that, or some advertiments could well be synced offline when the video is buffered, and data on performance made available to advertisers once the device again gets connectivity. We’ve written to Google for more details.
More when we have more. MediaNama’s YouTube coverage: here
Update: We’ve updated the headline since the earlier version (YouTube to go offline in India) was open to (mis)interpretation. Our apologies for any confusion.