Seeing red

YouTube TV's adding offline downloads and 4K... for a fee

You're going to have to pay more than the already substantial $64.99 monthly fee for the new privileges.

A screencap of YouTube TV is shown on a smartphone.
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As the streaming battles rage on, companies are trying to add new features and spruce up their offers so that you, the viewer, don't abandon them for their rivals. YouTube is one of those streaming companies attempting to enhance its service and this time, that means offering a "new add-on package with 4K streaming, offline viewing, and unlimited concurrent streams at home."

The company announced this change in a recent blog post by Neal Mohan, its chief product officer. At this moment, it's not clear if YouTube will place any kind of restrictions on the number of channels that will support offline downloads. It also hasn't discussed which content will run in 4K. But it's helpful to know that you can run multiple concurrent streams running as long as you're watching YouTube TV at home. No more stream mooching for far-flung family members, sorry.

What we do know, though, is this "add-on package" will most probably require paying more than the current — and already outrageous — $64.99 per month.

What else YouTube TV viewers can expect — Navigation could become a lot more convenient as the company wants to help connect audiences with content creators. As we've reported in the past, videos now come with their own artificial intelligence-generated chapter titles for better navigation. The company also says that YouTube will revamp its support for various video formats, including a "combination of SD, HD, 4K, VR, HDR, and live video on nearly every device with an internet connection — from desktops to mobile, and gaming consoles to VR headsets."

YouTube Music also gets a mention in Mohan's post, which he says will launch "more personalized mixes centered around the everyday activities and moods enjoyed with music, whether you’re trying to work out, focus, relax, or commute to work." It doesn't sound too different than Spotify's itch to suggest music based on (hyper) personal user traits and information.

Additionally, YouTube is working on providing a safer viewing experience for children. That translates into better parental-control tools, filter options, and — hopefully — an effective moderation system. Of course, no announcement from YouTube is complete without a mention revenue diversification. In this round, Mohan wrote that content creators will have more access to "monetization opportunities through commerce" and viewers could soon show their appreciation through a currently-tested "applause" feature. For some users, this might be enough to justify an increased monthly rate. For us? Well, we'll stick to regular YouTube and ad blockers, thanks very much.