Just yesterday Google made a rather vague statement about a new offline viewing feature coming to its YouTube mobile apps in November. Now we're getting to hear more about how it will work and how it will affect content providers.
Google sent out an e-mail to its commercial YouTube partners that gave them a heads up and elaborated on how the offline viewing system will work for both uploaders and viewers. Once it rolls out, users of the YouTube mobile app will get access to an "add to device" feature on videos and playlists which will then be added to a new "on device" section of their YouTube guide page.
The new feature is enabled by default for all content and partners who are unwilling to allow access to their content this way should tell Google before the feature launches. Partners can opt out of it on various levels. An owner or partner level will disable all content for offline viewing but partners can also choose to disable content on a per asset, video, or country basis.
Unfortunately for viewers, being offline won't mean escaping ads, as in-stream ads will still be run even in offline viewing. Users will also have 48 hours to watch those videos in offline mode before they become unavailable and require an Internet connection again.