On the night of Google I/O 2021, a playback error is affecting many on YouTube with videos ceasing to play at random.

An unknown error is causing video playback on YouTube to error out for some users. In some cases, it appears that quality drops from a standard resolution such as 1080p or 720p down to a much lower quality before crashing entirely. Your results may vary.

The issue appears fairly widespread at this point with a huge uptick in reports on DownDetector regarding the problem. We encountered the problem ourselves and it persisted a refresh, but closing out of YouTube entirely and then going back to the same video through search seemed to fix the problem. Interestingly, DownForEveryoneOrJustMe reports that the site as a whole is down. YouTube TV and YouTube Music are also affected.

Earlier this evening, the @TeamYouTube account on Twitter acknowledged an issue with videos not streaming or uploading properly, but there was no spike on DownDetector at that time. According to the same account, that same issue is what’s causing the widespread outage tonight.

As of around 11:50 p.m. ET, reports of the issue seem to be on a downward trend on DownDetector.

Update: As of 9 p.m. this evening, the issues with YouTube and YouTube TV should be resolved.

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Ben Schoon

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