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YouTube is switching gears in its never-ending crusade to convince more people to subscribe to YouTube Premium. Because at long last, the more sensible option of simply adding more features to make the subscription worth it is finally rolling out. But it is really worth the dough this time around?

New Viewing Features

via YouTube

The primary feature promoted in this update is the supposedly AI-powered “jump ahead” feature for Premium subscribers. When users double-tap to skip ahead in a video, they’ll now see a “jump ahead” button that takes them directly to popular segments.

For Android users, we have the picture-in-picture feature for Shorts, enabling multitasking by allowing viewers to watch short-form content while using other apps. A tiny extension to an already existing feature, but the minute improvements are nonetheless welcome, I guess. Technically speaking, however, this seems to be a move that is more focused on adapting effective features on other social media platforms, such as TikTok, where short-form content reigns supreme.

Experimental Features

via YouTube

Then there’s Smart Downloads, another feature for Shorts, which automatically downloads a fresh batch of Shorts for offline viewing. YouTube explains that this addresses potential “FOMO” (fear of missing out) when users are without internet access. Pretty neat, I suppose. But I believe this only incentivizes users to waste even more incremental time on minute-long videos, which is probably the objective of YouTube all along.

Android users in the U.S. will also get back that weird conversational AI assistant feature, which answers and suggests related content even while watching.

Oh yes, and there is also a redesigned watch page for desktop users, which helps curate even more personalized content and engage with comments.

Are They Worth It?

Five New Features Are Rolling Out To YouTube Premium 5
Image: Pete Holden/TalkAndroid

If you feel somewhat underwhelmed by these updates, don’t worry; you are not alone. As a move to entice more people to subscribe to YouTube Premium, these new “conveniences” don’t seem to be revolutionary or transformative in any way. Worse, based on their descriptions, some of them are actually built to make YouTube even more money.

Some have astutely noted, for example, that the new features specifically cater to increasingly shorter attention spans in the digital age. This trend reflects a broader shift in content consumption patterns, with YouTube simply adjusting its offerings to match users’ desire for quick, easily digestible content. Thus, maintaining the upward trend in revenue numbers.

Indeed, YouTube Premium recently crossed a significant milestone, surpassing 100 million YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide. Even if these new perks won’t convince more to convert their faith, they would definitely help in convincing current subscribers to keep their premium plans. After all, more perks mean more justification to keep paying the big red button. You still get all of the basic YouTube Premium stuff, such as ad-free viewing, background play, and offline downloads, plus more!

Meet Christian Crisostomo, a passionate Android writer. He’s all about breaking down the latest in Android without the tech jargon. Whether you’re an Android expert or new to the operating system, Christian’s got the scoop on what’s hot and happening in the Android world.

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