Google has just announced that they have enabled offline viewing on YouTube in the Philippines, letting users view downloaded video on their mobile devices at their leisure.
A download icon will be appearing underneath videos starting today on the YouTube mobile app for both Android and iOS, which when pressed prompts users to store the clip in the file size they want.
Google Philippines noted that not all videos have this option but assured that “much of the popular YouTube content within the Philippines is ready for people to view offline from indie comedy to unboxings.” In addition, the feature is only available in two other Asian countries to date- India and Indonesia - revealing the internet giant's plans on securing a foothold in emerging cuts by easing data cost worries.
“We want to make sure we are making YouTube as enjoyable as possible for our growing base of mobile users in the Philippines. By launching a new offline feature for YouTube today, we hope to help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of YouTube,” John Harding, Vice President of Engineering at YouTube.
Initial reports said that means on how Google will monetize the downloaded videos is unclear but an official statement from Google Philippines confirms that the videos are ad-supported.
Filipinos consume tons of online content on their mobile devices and even claimed the title social media capital of the world but a recent On Device Research study in August found that only 15% of the population own smartphones – the lowest in Southeast Asia. But by 2015, an influx of affordable phones and data plans is expected to bring this number over 50%.
“By making these popular videos available for temporary offline viewing, our partners will help fans connect more easily with their favorite content, while also helping bring more viewers to their videos. We hope to keep finding better ways to make video content more affordable and accessible in the Philippines,” said Ryan Morales, Country Marketing Manager for Google Philippines.