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February 28, 2024
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YouTube Premium adds more perks with SharePlay support, higher quality video and more

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YouTube Premium, the $11.99 per 30 days ad-free model of YouTube, is in the present day introducing various new options geared toward attracting and retaining subscribers. Most notably, the subscription plan will now embrace higher-quality video for net and iOS customers, assist for co-watching movies on FaceTime by Apple’s SharePlay, and different controls for managing your queue on cellular units.

The corporate believes the broader characteristic set will assist it to raised market the subscription to customers, as many don’t know what else YouTube Premium offers past eradicating adverts from YouTube. The launches additionally observe different latest additions, like the flexibility to continue watching videos the place you left off on any machine and a “smart downloads” feature that mechanically saves advisable movies for offline entry. This latter characteristic is now out there to net customers as nicely, along with iOS and Android.

Picture Credit: YouTube’s “proceed watching” characteristic

Whereas many of those earlier options had extra subtly enhanced the YouTube Premium subscription — operating within the background the place they’re maybe unnoticed by the tip consumer — in the present day’s newly introduced additions will likely be extra front-and-center to the viewing expertise.

For starters, YouTube will start rolling out an enhanced bitrate model of 1080p HD video high quality to Premium subscribers on iOS after which the net within the weeks forward. (On the internet, it’s going to first turn out to be out there as an “experiment” — YouTube Premium’s offering that permits subscribers early access to check new options forward of a public launch.) Whereas all YouTube customers will proceed to have entry to 1080p, the improved 1080p high quality setting will make movies look “additional crisp and clear,” YouTube says, together with those who have numerous element and movement, like sports activities and gaming. If efficiently carried out, this might assist YouTube Premium to raised stay as much as its title when it comes to offering a “premium” expertise to subscribers, not only a much less annoying one by eradicating adverts.

One other key addition is assist for Apple’s SharePlay, first launched at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Convention in 2021. Although different video providers have lengthy supported SharePlay, together with rivals like Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and TikTok, YouTube will restrict entry so solely paying subscribers can use the co-viewing characteristic. That positions the service in a unique area from rival TikTok which was among the many first to assist Apple’s co-watching characteristic for FaceTime customers.

After all, SharePlay to some extent now feels extra like a pandemic-era resolution designed to attach individuals who can’t be collectively in actual life. Netflix, as an example, by no means even bothered to launch its personal official co-viewing possibility, after apparently betting on declining utilization for such a factor as Covid restrictions lifted. So it’s fascinating to see YouTube attempt to market SharePlay as a “perk” slightly than customary performance, notably when its in-house co-viewing resolution inside Google Meet already permits YouTube co-viewing with out the Premium improve.

One other new characteristic offers extra controls over your queue when subscribed to YouTube Premium. Beginning in the present day, Premium customers will likely be ready to add videos to their queue when watching on telephones and tablets. Whereas in the present day YouTube free customers can save movies to playlists, together with “Watch Later,” queuing lets customers management what video they wish to play subsequent throughout their present viewing session.

The updates be part of different YouTube Premium features which, past ad-free viewing, embrace background play for watching when the display is locked, offline downloads, and entry to YouTube Music Premium.

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