What is the matter with Google? Bestowing Indians with gift after gift. Only a few days back did I report on how India will be the first country to get the very affordable Android One smartphones. In fact, three models have already been launched which I will be covering soon. In another first-for-India move, Google has declared Indians will now be able to view YouTube videos offline. There is no magic in it. In a few weeks, Indians will just be able to download YouTube contents, legally!
VP of Product Management at Google, Caesar Sengupta, (an Indian by ethnicity), said to The Economic Times: “YouTube is popular here. You watch some videos again and again. How awesome would it be if you could keep watching them again and again without having to pay for data, and take the videos with you wherever you go?”
People from other countries are already asking. Why India, why not us? In my opinion, it is because India is one of Google fastest growing markets and it has the slowest internet connection in Asia. In some places, watching YouTube videos even at @ 144p will take time to load. With a huge market with very low internet penetration and almost non-existent 3G (at this point, 4G could from Mars for Indians) connectivity, Indians are left to use whatever measures they can to download YouTube videos.
Let me tell you about the cost of data here. Indian Rupee and Filipino Peso are almost identical in value. In Philippines, you can get unlimited 3G data @1000 Peso or less. In India, 4GB of 3G data will cost you at least 1000 Rupees. With a GDP per capita to match the same of some African countries, this cost is high indeed. The scarce data has forced Indians to spend data selectively, and share these illegally downloaded videos via Bluetooth instead.
This will also end the era where we used external tools to download Youtube videos. Google was probably aware of this, but never showed any intention to save YouTube creators’ contents from this piracy. Why now?
Did Google just decide to take matters into own hand and remove these tools from the scene? But how would advertisements work then? Will Google add the advertisement to the video before its downloaded? Will every video be available for download? Or some specific ones?
As seen from various reports, the download option will be available to Android smartphones, and possibly tablets. Is this another provocation to get on the Android bandwagon?
There are some YouTube Creators who want their viewers to download their contents and distribute it freely. This announcement will give their voice a real boost.
I spoke to someone who has built a rather large video collection, all downloaded from YouTube. Some extracted mp3, some videos. When asked for a reaction, she said, “Wow, this is great. Finally, it will be easier to download from YouTube. Thank you Google.”