YouTube Premium Offering Smart Downloads, PiP for Shorts

YouTube is rewarding paid subscribers with early access to test features. Available now to those on the Premium tier are smart downloads and picture-in-picture for YouTube Shorts. Smart downloads populate automatically for convenient offline viewing, while PiP is touted as a convenience for multitaskers. The platform is also rolling out its “Jump Ahead” navigational feature to all Premium subs, starting with Android and coming to iOS “in the next few weeks,” the streamer explains. Powered by “a combination of AI and viewership data,” Jump Ahead lets users double-tap to skip ahead through a video.

In addition, the Google platform is bringing back YouTube’s conversational AI for U.S. Android users. The changes were shared in a YouTube Blog post and further detailed in a Help Center post. For a limited time, Premium members can opt-in for early previews of experimental new features.

At the moment, these include new page layouts, smart downloads of Shorts and a conversational AI tool that YouTube is bringing back for Android users after Google tested it last year. The chatbot can respond to questions related to a video or make viewing suggestions, TechCrunch reports.

“Currently, there are only a handful of YouTube Premium plans,” writes The Verge, detailing “Individual for $13.99 per month (or 12 months for $139.99); Family for $22.99 per month; and Student for $7.99 per month.” Perks include ad-free videos and music as well as download permissions for offline viewing.

Smart download support “means that, based on your recent Shorts viewing history, YouTube will automatically download some short videos for offline viewing,” TechCrunch writes, adding that YouTube is currently testing “a redesigned watch page on the desktop.”

Having been aggressively challenging Spotify as a subscription music service, the company is positioning YouTube Music Premium as “way more than just ad-free tunes,” with offline listening, background play, and the Samples tab for discovery.

YouTube also announced its music app is coming to Garmin watches, “so you can take your entire music library everywhere, from your phone to your computer, and now even on your wrist.”

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