YouTube Offers Free and Paid Video Downloads
Article by George Norman
On 13 Feb 2009
You can forget about the multitude of software applications that promise to download content off YouTube, because the Google owned video sharing web page has started to roll out a feature that would put video download availability just one click away. The only blocker is to be found with the content provider since he decides whether to allow YouTube users to download the video (for free or for a fee).

Product Manager with YouTube, Thai Tran comments: “We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to find, watch, and share videos. Many of you have told us that you wanted to take your favorite videos offline. So we've started working with a few partners who want their videos shared universally and even enjoyed away from an Internet connection.”


Videos posted under a Creative Commons license will not cost you a thing to download and watch offline (nor does converting video to audio ). But if you plan to use that content, you must give credit to its creator. The offer of free downloadable videos is pretty slim right now, the main providers being Stanford, Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCTV (and the official channel of Barack Obama of course). YouTube partners on the other hand can choose to sell videos for the fee of their choice; you can purchase them via Google Checkout.

“So how do these downloads work? The video watch pages of the participating partners link to the download option below the left-hand corner of the video. To help you keep track of the videos you have previously purchased, we have created a new "My Purchases" tab under "My Videos,” explains Thai Tran.

The thing that bugs me is not the fact that YouTube is trying to improve its offerings, but the fact that for quite a long period of time YouTube has advocated the fact that we, the users, do not need to take that content offline. The other intriguing thing is that YouTube is owned by Google, and as you may remember Google Video also offered paid video downloads – but nobody wanted to pay, so Google pulled the feature.

Tags: Google, YouTube
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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