Yesterday we reported that Google-owned YouTube was finally planning to offer a way to watch videos offline, but at the time, very few details of the service were available. AllThingsD has now, however, obtained a copy of an e-mail sent out by YouTube to its content “partners”.
Essentially, you will be able to save YouTube videos to your mobile device using the YouTube app for up to 48 hours. Should your device be offline for more than 48 hours, the videos will be unavailable until you reconnect to a network. The videos will still contain ads and you must use the app to watch them, not YouTube.com or any other platform.
YouTube also notes that this feature will not apply to the TV shows and movies it has available for rental. Also worth noting is that YouTube does not make any mention of music videos being supported. Given its tense relationship with most music labels, I’d be very surprised if music/lyric videos were made available to save offline.
If you are a video producer and do not want want your content being saved offline, you do have the ability to disable the functionality, though it will be enabled by default.
The offline functionality is set to launch in November. Read the full memo after the break.
We’re writing to let you know about a new functionality that is currently scheduled to launch in November that impacts your content. This functionality is part of ongoing updates to give users more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. The functionality is launching with all partners enabled but if you wish, you can disable now. Below is more information on the functionality and directions for how to disable.
On the YouTube app, users will be able, through “add to device” functionality available on videos and playlists, to designate certain content that they can watch for a short period of time when an internet connection is unavailable. With this, if a user experiences a loss of connectivity, they will still be able to watch the videos that they’ve added to their device for a limited period of up to 48 hours. If the device is offline for more than 48 hours the content cannot be viewed offline until the device reconnects. Once connected, the offline window refreshes and the viewer is able to watch the content again.
How it works for viewers
From the watch page through the “add to device” functionality feature, viewers will be able to designate certain content that they can watch for a short period of time when they do not have connectivity. At the time when the user no longer has connectivity, they will be able to watch the videos and playlists they have added to their device by accessing the videos through an “on device” section of their guide.
How it works for partners: ads and viewcounts
Google in-stream ads will run in connection with the content, and views will be added to the total view count. Please note that other ad formats will not be supported, and, videos for rental or purchase will not be included in this functionality.
All content is enabled. But you can disable now
By default all of your content will be enabled for the functionality, but you can disable now before the functionality launches. You will be able to disable by: partner, and available before launch, by asset, video and country. When you disable at the content owner or partner level, we apply this policy across all your videos, regardless of whether they are enabled at the asset, video and country level. To ensure all your content is disabled, you should disable at the content owner or partner level.