YouTube on Thursday announced the start of the India rollout of the new offline feature that allows users to download videos to their Android device for later consumption when without usable network connectivity.
YouTube's offline feature, which was announced earlier
this year alongside
the Android One
, is ad-supported and available for Android and iOS.
The firm said starting Thursday, "much of India's popular YouTube content" is available to view offline.
The videos are available for offline playback only through the YouTube app, and can be downloaded via mobile data or Wi-Fi.
A video downloaded via the YouTube
offline feature is available for viewing within 48 hours, the firm specified at its launch event in Mumbai, thus helping avoid issues involved with the free downloading of copyrighted content. Users have to sync with YouTube to watch the videos.
Notably ads will be downloaded alongside the video, and these will be refreshed once the user re-syncs to YouTube. The re-syncing process allows YouTube to calculate metrics such as views and ad data.
John Harding, Vice President of Engineering at YouTube, said of the new offline feature, "In a country like India, the future of the Internet is mobile... By launching this offline experience on YouTube in India today, we hope to help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of YouTube."
Speaking about how content partners will benefit, Ajay Vidyasagar, Regional Director of YouTube Partnerships, YouTube Asia-Pacific, said, "The new feature will also help our partners bring more viewers to their content and fine even greater success on our platform."
Notably, the offline feature will be rolled out to Indonesia and the Philippines as well.