Availability: This feature wouldn’t be available across all videos as yet, although Google notes that much of the popular YouTube content in India would be available for offline viewing. This includes videos from partners like T-series, Saregama, Yashraj Films and others. Google says that users can tap on the offline icon on videos that support this feature and view them for 48 hours without an Internet connection.
It seems like the company is still rolling out this feature, since we weren’t able to find it on YouTube’s Android app at the time of writing this article. (I tried it on Nexus 4 running on Android 5.0). A screenshot on Google’s official blogpost however suggests that users can choose the video quality of their preference and view these videos through a dedicated offline section on the app menu.
It’s currently not clear how YouTube is monetizing these offline videos. Maybe the company is syncing advertisements along with the videos, similar to what Spuul does for free users who intend to download videos and then provide the data on performance to advertisers once the device again gets connectivity.
It’s also possible that company is looking to launch a subscription service similar to the recently launched music subscription service YouTube Music Key. Note that Music Key which is currently available on an invite-only basis in select countries like US, UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Finland and Ireland among others, offers offline playback and ad-free music for $7.99 per month but is limited to only music videos. Update: A Google spokesperson has told Medianama that the ads will be synced along with the video being downloaded and will play on offline streams. All the viewership numbers and other YouTube analytics are also collected & updated once the device gets connectivity.