YouTube’s paid subscription tier is today adding five more features it hopes will differentiate it enough from the free tier to get you to pay for it every month.
YouTube Premium subscribers can now use a queueing system on phones and tablets, which was previously in testing until the end of January. This is available for everyone on computers when using the YouTube website, but the mobile app’s functionality is limited to subscribers. As the name implies, this allows you to create a queue of videos to be played, add new ones to it, and change positions for the ones that are already there.
Next up, Premium members can host Google Meet sessions where all attendees, regardless of whether they are Premium or free users, can watch YouTube videos together. This is currently live through Meet Live Sharing on Android devices, and will be enabled “in the coming weeks” for FaceTime users on iOS via SharePlay.
The third new feature is the ability to continue watching YouTube videos where you left off, even if you’ve switched between devices. This is now live on Android, iOS, and Web.
The fourth new feature, Smart Downloads, now adds recommended videos straight to your library, ready for offline viewing. This should aid if you forgot to download some stuff for your upcoming flight, for example, although it’s unclear precisely what’s new here, as this has been available to Premium members for a while now.
Finally, “in the coming weeks”, for Premium members, YouTube on iOS will deliver an enhanced bitrate version for 1080p HD resolution videos (this was caught in testing back in February). The company promises that this enhanced bitrate version “will look extra crisp and clear, especially for videos with lots of detail and motion”, even though 1080p HD resolution will remain available to everyone, just not at this higher bitrate.