As YouTube Premium’s price continues to increase, Google is at least trying to convince us all that new features could still show up from time to time, making the subscription (outside of the ad-free experience) worth it . Today, YouTube confirmed a couple of AI features that have been in testing, as well as several other new features you should soon be able to take advantage of, like enhanced bitrate on Android.
It’s a big day for YouTube Premium subscribers who are into AI, with an Android device, and who stream YouTube across multiple devices and platforms.
YouTube Enhanced Bitrate on Android, TVs: Earlier this year, Google announced “extra crisp and clear” videos through an enhanced bitrate of 1080p streams on the iPhone. They then followed up that enhancement by bringing the same feature to desktop streams. Android devices and smart TVs didn’t have that same option throughout those two rollouts, but that changes today. Google says that they heard you all “loud and clear” and have brought 1080p HD enhanced bitrate to Android, Web, and smart TVs.
Continue sessions on all devices: For some time, you’ve been able to jump between YouTube on phones and the web and continue where you left off. Going forward, Google has expanded that same movability to smart TVs and tablets. So now, you can watch all of the old Droid Life Shows on your phone and work computer before finishing off the episode at home on your TV in the evening. Nice.
Premium Badges: I’m not sure I quite understand this feature, but Google says it is rolling out badges that “showcase your achievements on the platform” as some form of a “trophy cabinet” that highlights Premium milestones “and how you’ve embraced all those exclusive features.” You can see one above, and yeah, I don’t get it.
Next up, we have two AI-related features that are experimental. You may have already seen these pop-up in your YouTube feed as you scroll, asking for you to test. The new features are Conversational AI and Comment topics summarized by AI.
If you tryout Conversational AI, you can have YouTube answer questions or suggest related content as you watch a video, only without interrupting the playback experience. It’s like a chatbot built into the viewing experience that can give you more info about it or send you to other related videos.
There are limited spots for Conversational AI in the US on Android devices.
If you instead choose to get comments summarized by AI, YouTube will attempt to summarize big comment sections into digestible themes. YouTube wants creators to use these to get ideas for new videos, but you could also use them to catch-up on the reaction from viewers.
You can sign-up for the new AI experimental features at youtube.com/new.