YouTube will soon release a new app that allows users to save a video for offline viewing. The announcement came after the VP of Product Management Johanna Wright took a trip to India and discovered the challenges that Indian users face when streaming videos with YouTube.
"Earlier this year, I had the chance to travel to India to see how people there were enjoying YouTube up close. While in Nagpur, I met a young man who loved using YouTube to watch WWE wrestling and wanted to show us his favorite video. But after he found it and tapped to play, the video just wouldn't load. Maybe it was his phone or his 2G connection, but it just wouldn't work," Wright wrote on YouTube's blog.
"I and a team of engineers, designers, and researchers have been travelling to India, collecting ideas and testing prototypes with hundreds of people across 15 cities. They've helped us build a brand new YouTube app that's faster, more relevant, and more affordable, with innovative new features," she revealed.
The app is called YouTube Go and it's designed for users with slow or little Internet connectivity. In addition to being able to save a video for viewing later, users can also preview videos before saving or watching them. A choice of low or standard quality is available before playing or saving videos. Saved videos can be shared with others via Bluetooth.
While this app may be a welcome convenience to the Indian market, music executives in the US are quick to point out that the new app might be used to pirate music. The CEO for RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) Cary Sherman wrote that YouTube might be the world's biggest music service, but contributed only 6 percent of this year's entire music revenue.
Despite these concerns, YouTube Go is scheduled to for wide release early next year. Early adopters may sign up to get notified when the app is ready.