After Android One, India will have another first from Google as the tech giant plans to make YouTube available offline, allowing people to save on download charges for watching their favorite videos.
YouTube executive Ceasar Sengupta mentioned at the launch event that the move was to better serve users in the country, where a consistent cellular data connection is not always available.
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.
It is not clear at the moment whether this new offline feature is restricted to India, or if this will be an Android only feature. The demand for video on mobile has been around for a while – some telecom providers have experimented with YouTube focused data packs, which let you stream videos at a discounted data rate.
Reports suggest that 3.7 billion online videos are consumed per month in the country. According to comScore, the total online video audience in India saw growth of over 70 percent in 2013 with the average viewer watching 18 percent more videos and spending 28 percent more time viewing.
The service will not be restricted to music videos, and users will have the ability to download any video off the service and store it offline.