YouTube is great for watching the occasional video, but sometimes the need to stay glued to the screen is tough. There are times when you just want to tear away and do something else with your day, and it would be nice to listen in on the audio.
Android Police have discovered, via one of their APK Teardowns, that the update for YouTube may support background audio streaming. The functionality is there in the settings, which means it’s probably being dogfooded for testing. If it ends up hitting the next release, it has some really interesting implications.
With background audio, YouTube could see a huge impact in regard to traffic. With users listening to audio and/or watching video, their bandwidth will see some strain. It also could make monetizing YouTube videos more interesting, as we could see those audio ads come to life in YouTube videos/streaming audio as they do with popular podcasts on other mediums.
It also means, quite simply, we could be getting Podcasts from YouTube. Either by separating the audio from the video, or simply uploading pure audio segments. With background audio streaming likely coming to YouTube, it will be interesting to see how the homemade video site will morph into something more.