If you wanted to watch YouTube videos on your smart device while still doing some other “more important” things like reading your email or answering messages, you could always use the picture-in-picture mode. However, previously, you needed to have a subscription to YouTube Premium to be able to use that feature. But now it looks like Google is rolling out PiP mode to users at least in the US even if you are not paying for any of their subscription services.
A reddit user first noticed that he was able to watch a World Cup game in Picture-on-picture mode on his smartphone, even if he wasn’t a subscriber to YouTube Music or YouTube Premium or even Google Play Music. It looks like other users are able to do so as well although for now, only those in the US have this feature. It also doesn’t work on all YouTube videos especially those that have music content. For those kinds of videos, you need to have a YouTube Premium subscription.
If you want to watch YouTube in its picture-in-picture mode, first of all, your device needs to be running on Android Oreo and you need to be in the US of course. Choose a video to watch on your YouTube app then tap on the home button. it will then be minimized and you can go ahead with your regular smartphone business. This is a gift for multi-taskers of the world. Well, at least those who are in the US.
This seems to be a server side update so you will have to wait until it rolls out to you. There is no official word from YouTube yet so we also don’t know if this will roll out globally eventually.