In an interesting development, Google has announced that YouTube is going offline in India in the next few weeks, allowing users to save some videos to watch them even when they are not connected to the Internet. At the launch event of Android One in India, company’s executive, Ceaser Sengupta said:
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
This means people will be able to store videos in the YouTube app on Android phones and tablets when they are on WiFi and watch them later. Currently, the mobile data plans are quite expensive in India, and usually don’t offer great video streaming experience. Hence, the move to allow offline watching if YouTube will help millions of Android consumers in India.
According to Google, around 40 per cent of traffic on YouTube now comes from mobile phones and tablets in India. It’s not clear if Google plans to introduce the much rumored YouTube Music Key subscription service in the country, but the move to save some YouTube videos for offline viewing should come as a pleasant surprise for Indian Android users.
It remains to be seen if this offer extends beyond Indian boundaries.