YouTube Music gets more offline options (for YouTube Red subscribers)

YouTube Music has added an update to its offline listening options for YouTube Red subscribers. Members of the subscription program are now able to choose specific playlists and albums, in addition to songs, for offline listening. Users download the music of choice by tapping a three-dot Menu button, and selecting what to download. YouTube Red is continuing to offer the option of downloading audio only, stripped out from the video which takes longer to download and occupies more storage space in the phone.

These download features are added to an existing product called the “offline mixtape.” This feature automatically downloads content for offline listening based on past listening history, changing frequently to stay current with the listener’s interest.

YouTube Music and YouTube Red is one step in the video platform’s efforts to transition from a freemium service to a bona fide entertainment hub with subscription revenue alongside ad support. As more music listening happens on mobile platforms, the ability to download songs for offline access could become another key feature for streaming services. Whether it’s a common tool for all users or a special feature for paying listeners could be part of the pitch to convert customers.

Anna Washenko