With a greater focus on streaming in the living room, YouTube is rolling out a new feature allowing viewers to interact with programming playing on their TV using their mobile phone.
Android or iOS phones must be connected to the same Youtube counts as that of the TV. Users can then click “connect” when prompted by the app to sync the two devices.
In a blog post, the Google-owned video operation said its TV app, launched 12 years ago, had grown to 700 million hours of daily viewing in January 2022. YouTube continued to make changes to its big-screen offering, and recently hosted its annual Brandcast event during broadcast week to attract advertisers. Ad revenue on YouTube totaled $6.86 billion in the first quarter.
“As more and more people watch Youtube on their TVs, one of the challenges we face as a design team is how to keep the experience simple, streamlined and intuitive, but also bring the best of Youtube on TV,” the blog post said. The new feature is intended to give viewers “a direct way to access the full power of Youtube at your fingertips while watching on your TV.
YouTube’s 2 billion global viewers usually don’t back down. They often like, share or comment on videos and subscribe to channels. Doing all of this through a TV remote is a tedious process. “Remotes can be tricky to use and navigate, most TVs don’t have a built-in web browser, and you usually have less space to work with since you’re always watching the video in full screen,” the blog notes. .
YouTube engineers and designers relied on research indicating that many viewers watch the YouTube app on their TV screen and then call up the same video on their phone in order to interact with it.
Once the sync feature is established, YouTube plans to add more options to leverage this experience. “We are already starting to test new designs for our video playback page to help us integrate in more unique ways. Youtube features — like browsing and buying products featured in videos — right on the big screen to help you decide when to pick up your phone and engage,” the post reads.