YouTube for Android TV is now receiving a fresh new startup or splash loading screen when launching the app from cold.

Google has quietly made a number of changes to YouTube on Android TV over the past few months, the last notable update was to include more Material You theming to the main video player view. The latest such change involves the initial startup of the video-sharing platform.


[Update]: In a dedicated blog post, YouTube has detailed the new launch animation for Android TV devices and smart TV sets. The animation also includes a unique startup sound that will sometimes play when opening the app after a prolonged period.

The initial idea behind the sound was to have something vibrant, engaging and easily recognizable, so that as soon as you hear it – even if you’re turned away from your TV or device – you know that something’s about to pop up on YouTube.

The new sound consists of a “deep dive” note followed by an upward “glissando” that injects “a sense of joy and playfulness” according to YouTube. There’s also a two-note melodic “phrase” that is said to echo the “two syllables in the name ‘YouTube'” with a gate opening style sound and synth note finishing off the 3-second launch animation.

As for the animation itself, YouTube says that it has been inspired by old CRT TVs when powering up which is fused with the classic playhead and timeline. It’s an interesting explanation for something that will undoubtedly become synonymous with YouTube on Android TV and smart TV sets for a long time to come. Check out the full version with sound below:


We have spotted this change on Nvidia Shield TV Pro, but it’s unclear just how widely this has rolled out. Several of our Chromecast with Google TV devices are yet to see the change and still show the old loading screen despite running the latest YouTube for Android TV version 3.01.005. What’s more, all devices tested include the same accounts logged in. While it’s not clear, it seems likely that this is part of a server-side rollout in this instance rather than version related.

When loading up YouTube on your Android TV device after a period of stasis or when the app decides to refresh itself, you’ll see a new loading bar icon that consists of the familiar YouTube play-head and a red progress bar. This gives way to an animated YouTube logo that slides in with the aforementioned play-head morphing into the iconic play button.

It is certainly more eye-catching and dynamic than the previous loading animation when opening YouTube on your Android TV set-top box. Even with a flashy animation, it still takes around the same amount of time to hit your home feed. It’s a nice touch all the same. You can see a comparison of the differences below:

We’re expecting this admittedly minor change to spread more widely over the coming days. Let us know if you’re seeing the new loading screen when launching YouTube on your Android TV or Google TV devices down in the comments section below.

More on Android TV:

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com