YouTube brings in buffer-free offline video feature for mobile phone users

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YouTube announced an ‘offline’ feature for the Indian market today at an event in Mumbai. This will let mobile phone users take a video offline, using either Wi-fi or data plan and this video will be available for unlimited viewing for the next 48 hours.

The main idea behind this move is to help Indian mobile users curb their mobile data charges while streaming YouTube videos on their data connection. This feature will not be applicable for all videos however. Only videos which enable this feature will be available for offline viewing. You will have to simply tap on the offline button under the video frame to download the video.

According to YouTube’s vice president of engineering, John Harding around 40 per cent of YouTube’s traffic in India comes from mobile
devices. Content providers such as T-series, Saregama and Yashraj Films will have their content available in the offline-mode.

YouTube has around 10,000 films and 250,000 Indian songs. According to YouTube, Indian users watch around 5 billion videos on YouTube per month. It expects this number to keep growing and India is expected to be the second largest market for video content by 2015.

Earlier this year, YouTube had tied up with Tata DoCoMo to allow prepaid 3G users to watch videos online for as low as Rs 9 per day. YouTube, Apalya Technologies and Tata Docomo will offer the video data plan ‘YouTube Recharge’, which will offer users about 50 percent discount from regular data charges to watch online videos. Users can watch 100 MB worth of videos for Rs 9 (valid for 24 hours) on YouTube and Apalya’s Live TV streaming service, while they can have access to 150 MB worth of videos (valid for 3 days) for Rs 19.

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