Google’s cord cutter app YouTube TV reaches 2 million downloads

Approximately 2 million people have installed the YouTube TV app, Google’s live TV service aimed at a younger generation of cord cutters, as well as those who never signed up for traditional pay TV in the first place. That download figure comes from app store analytics firms Sensor Tower and App Annie, which both also noted that installs are evenly split between iOS and Android devices.

Of course, 2 million downloads doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers — many users may have simply installed the app out of curiosity; others could be on free trials that never convert to paid subscriptions.

Still, it’s a number that should give YouTube TV competitors — in particular, telco rivals — pause. YouTube TV is the youngest arrival in the over-the-top live TV space, and it’s growing rapidly.

Sensor Tower said that YouTube TV added about 700,000 new installs of its app since its announcement last week that it was entering several new U.S. markets, tripling its footprint.

Yes, that’s right — YouTube TV has 2 million installs and isn’t even available across all of the U.S. at this point.

That’s a promising start for a newcomer in this race, even if many of those are still trial customers.

That’s not to say YouTube TV is without serious competition.

This April, YouTube TV entered a crowded market, where numerous services compete to deliver live TV to consumers over the internet. Before YouTube TV arrived, Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and AT&T’s DirecTV Now were battling for cord cutters’ attention. Following the launch of YouTube TV, Hulu rolled out its own Live TV service. And this week, Comcast said its Xfinity Instant TV service could hit the U.S. before the end of the year.

The live TV rivals

Dish’s Sling TV live TV service has been around the longest, allowing it to move quickly into new areas — as it recently did with pay-per-view. Its service has more than 2 million subscribers, according to comScore’s latest report, released last month.

AT&T, meanwhile, can push DirecTV Now on its wireless customers by offering deals, and Sony can market Vue to its millions of PlayStation users. But Vue and DirecTV Now combined only have 1.1 million subscribers, says comScore. (Separately, AT&T announced this week DirecTV Now was nearing half a million subscribers.)

Then there’s Hulu, whose brand is well-known to consumers who think of it as a place to watch the broadcast and cable TV shows Netflix doesn’t offer. Hulu can upsell live TV to its existing customers. While the company doesn’t release subscriber figures, it said in May it had 47 million total unique viewers. (comScore didn’t release numbers for Hulu, YouTube TV or FuboTV.)

YouTube TV’s advantages

For the telcos, in particular, the streaming market is a tough business. As AT&T and Dish’s earnings have revealed, these newer internet TV services aren’t able to onboard customers fast enough to offset the losses from those dropping residential pay TV subscriptions.

For instance, AT&T in its most recent quarter lost a record number of traditional TV subscribers, and while DirecTV Now “helped” offset those losses, it couldn’t close the gap.

But for YouTube, there’s no legacy TV biz to shore up. It can move into the space freely, without worrying much about the slim margins of its low-cost $35 per month subscription offering. And its margins could be very slim, indeed. One analyst had estimated that $29 per month of affiliate fees would eat up the $35 subscription, before regional sports networks came in, adding $4 to $5 more.

Or, in other words, YouTube TV would be an ad-supported business.

Good thing for YouTube, then, that its user base grew up watching ads alongside their videos.

Though an optional YouTube Red subscription can remove those ads across regular YouTube, the mere existence of ads on YouTube TV — (and they’re everywhere — live, on-demand, DVR, etc.) — won’t necessarily be a deal breaker for the live TV service’s subscribers.

YouTube also has the benefit of selling TV to an existing and massive user base. The company announced in June it had grown to 1.5 billion logged-in monthly viewers. (YouTube doesn’t break out its U.S. monthly viewer numbers, but eMarketer says 185.9 million.)

Plus, YouTube TV has original content of its own, catering to its young viewers. Its 37 original programs, which are included with both YouTube TV and the ad-free paid subscription, YouTube Red, have now generated nearly 250 million views.

Also worth noting, YouTube itself appeals to the next generation of “TV” viewers — the kids who know their favorite YouTube stars better than they do Hollywood A-listers.

YouTube doesn’t have to convince these kids to cut the cord in favor of YouTube — they never planned to buy the cord in the first place.

Sensor Tower’s figures for YouTube TV — 2 million downloads, 50/50 split — were also confirmed by App Annie, which added that if time spent in the YouTube Kids app is any indication, then YouTube TV should do well among streaming apps for user engagement. YouTube TV may be in its infancy, but its download levels show significant traction, App Annie said.

YouTube Kids launched in 2015 and now ranks No. 7 by total time spent among Entertainment apps, as of June 2017 on Android phones in the U.S., behind giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Meanwhile, YouTube itself is No. 3 out of overall apps for time spent on Android phones in the U.S. — or nearly 17 times the average total time spent of the next three highest ranking video streaming apps, said App Annie.

Reached for comment, YouTube declined to confirm the new download numbers.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

HIGHLIGHTS
YouTube’s VR180 video format to be supported by new cameras
Google working with YI, Lenovo, and LG for new camera
1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon on Thursday announced an all-new video format VR180 that will make VR content creation slightly easier for creators. Google has also confirmed that the Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180 video format.

The company says that the new VR180 video will ensure what’s in front of the user is high resolution, and “look great on desktop and on mobile.” YouTube’s main focus is to boost VR with the new video format as it can be seen on phones with regular 2D screens as well as VR headsets like Cardboard, Daydream, and other headsets which show images stereoscopically in 3D. The new video format will enable depth, where “near things look near, and far things appear far,” adds Wojcicki. Additionally, the VR180 format also supports live streaming videos.

Google has named some partners like YI, Lenovo, and LG who are working with the company to bring new cameras priced same as a regular point-and-shoot camera. Videos and live streams will be easy to upload to YouTube from these cameras. Google has revealed that the first cameras will hit shelves this winter. The new format is capable of delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees of vision.

Google has also opened a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers who want to join. Z Cam will be one of Google’s first partners under the program.
“We want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos,” said Wojcicki.

Wojcicki also revealed that now, 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month and on an average, viewers spent over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. YouTube also announced an all-new change to YouTube app which will in the coming weeks “dynamically adapt” to whatever size users choose to watch it in. YouTube last month teased the new redesign interface which will come with a Dark theme as well.

The company will soon let user share a video with friends right from YouTube app and this will be available to users in Latin America and the US in couple of weeks.

[“Source-gadgets”]

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

HIGHLIGHTS
YouTube’s VR180 video format to be supported by new cameras
Google working with YI, Lenovo, and LG for new camera
1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon on Thursday announced an all-new video format VR180 that will make VR content creation slightly easier for creators. Google has also confirmed that the Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180 video format.

The company says that the new VR180 video will ensure what’s in front of the user is high resolution, and “look great on desktop and on mobile.” YouTube’s main focus is to boost VR with the new video format as it can be seen on phones with regular 2D screens as well as VR headsets like Cardboard, Daydream, and other headsets which show images stereoscopically in 3D. The new video format will enable depth, where “near things look near, and far things appear far,” adds Wojcicki. Additionally, the VR180 format also supports live streaming videos.

Google has named some partners like YI, Lenovo, and LG who are working with the company to bring new cameras priced same as a regular point-and-shoot camera. Videos and live streams will be easy to upload to YouTube from these cameras. Google has revealed that the first cameras will hit shelves this winter. The new format is capable of delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees of vision.

Google has also opened a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers who want to join. Z Cam will be one of Google’s first partners under the program.
“We want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos,” said Wojcicki.

Wojcicki also revealed that now, 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month and on an average, viewers spent over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. YouTube also announced an all-new change to YouTube app which will in the coming weeks “dynamically adapt” to whatever size users choose to watch it in. YouTube last month teased the new redesign interface which will come with a Dark theme as well.

The company will soon let user share a video with friends right from YouTube app and this will be available to users in Latin America and the US in couple of weeks.

[“Source-ndtv”]

YouTube Go for Android Review: Delivers on Its Promise

YouTube Go for Android Review: Delivers on Its Promise

HIGHLIGHTS

  • YouTube Go is a stripped down version of the YouTube app
  • It shows you how much data will be consumed by any video
  • You can download videos and share them with friends

We first heard about YouTube Go last year, when Google announced the offline-first YouTube app, and then a few months later YouTube Go entered Beta. It’s designed to work in areas with low connectivity or no network – there is a lot of focus on downloading videos instead of streaming, and it even shows you the size of video files before you even play something, so you know just how much data you’re going to use at any point.

At Google I/O 2017 last week, with the focus on the new Android Go project, the company talked about YouTube Go again, and Sameer Samat, VP of Product management for Android and Google Play, highlighted to Gadgets 360 the smaller APK size, and data optimisation features in YouTube Go.

We tried out YouTube Go for a while to see what the experience was like, and it looks and feels exactly like what it is – a stripped down version of YouTube. There are only two tabs – Home and Downloads – there’s none of the extras such as Subscriptions, Uploads, Purchases, or Playlists.

YouTube Go has just a single scrolling list of videos, thumbs one after another based on what’s popular, and nothing more. Tap on any video, and you’ll see a series of thumbnails, showing you a sort of preview of the video, along with details on how much storage is available on your phone at that moment. You have the option of selecting either basic quality or standard quality, and in both cases, you can see the amount of space that the file will occupy on your device, which is also how much of your data will be confused when downloading.

Once you’ve selected the size, you have two options – play, or download. It doesn’t default to either option – you have to manually choose each time. If you choose to play a file, it starts streaming right away at the chosen quality, and you can see more videos below.

In the regular YouTube app, you have the option of minimising a video while it’s playing, and browsing for the next one. In the case of YouTube Go, you have no such luxury. You do one thing at a time, or not at all.

That’s almost all there is to YouTube Go, save for one last feature. As we already mentioned, you can choose to download a video instead of playing it. If you do this, you can play it again any time you want, obviously, but you also have the option to share that with another YouTube Go user. The devices seem to perform the initial connection process using Bluetooth, and it’s easy to get started.

youtube go sharing youtube go

When you open the downloads tab inside YouTube Go, you can tap on either send or receive. To transfer a file, the person with the file has to tap Send. This makes it start looking for the receiver. Then, the person who wants the file taps Receive. Once that’s done, the actual file transfer seems to happen over a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection between the two devices, which means it’s fast, and doesn’t use your Internet data.

The file has to be verified on the Internet before it can be watched on the phone that received it – after the verification, downloaded files can be watched anytime you like, as long as you connect to the Internet at least once a month.

In YouTube Go, everything is very simple, and it works supremely quickly. There are no wasted animations or complicated UI elements to slow things down. The message is clear – this app trims all the fat that it can find, and then some more, to provide the smoothest experience possible.

This shows in the file sizes of downloaded videos as well. A four minute video takes up 2MB at the basic quality setting. A 21 minute clip took up just 12.1MB.

At standard quality on the other hand, a 1 minute clip took up 4.8MB. The same clip is 558Kb on basic quality. The difference in file sizes is tremendous, but the difference in quality is also pretty palpable. YouTube doesn’t reveal the resolution that it’s using for basic and standard quality videos, but standard quality looked pretty good on the 5-inch screen of a Redmi 3S Prime.

Rewatching the same clip on the full YouTube app, our best guess is that standard quality is 360p, while basic quality is 144p, though this is just a guess made by looking at the video under the various different settings and trying to guess what looks most like a match.

youtube go download youtube go

Depending on how must storage you have on your phone, and how much data you want to use for the download, you’ll be able to choose what size you prefer; and as mentioned above, since the YouTube Go app does not default to any preference, you get to make an informed choice for every single video.

That might sound a little tedious, but there’s a distinct difference in the quality. Depending on what video you’re downloading, that’s something you’ll want to consider, particularly if you’re toting an entry-level device, as most of those have improved on most fronts, but storage remains pretty limited.

All in all, the YouTube Go app is a pretty good option for people who want to use less data, and don’t want the app to take up as much of a footprint on their devices. That being said, we do wish that you could see your subscriptions. Instead of playlists, the user of such an app might prefer to download the videos instead, but subscriptions would make it easier to find content you like.

With the YouTube Go app, discovery remains an issue – you can either browse through the videos which may (or more likely may not) match your interests, or rely on search entirely. Subscriptions on the YouTube app right now help you to find the content you like, and that would definitely be appreciated with YouTube Go as well.

YouTube Go on Google Play is available free.

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Tags: YouTube, Android Go, Share videos, Download YouTube, Youtube Go
[“Source-ndtv”]