YouTube is now giving you another reason to enjoy your Google TV devices. Starting today, YouTubers on Android devices can stream videos to their Google TV-enabled sets. Apparently, this is an idea YouTube has been tinkering with since 2010.
The update to the Android app and Google TV, both which launch today, can pair YouTube videos that you’re playing on your mobile device and beam it straight to Google TV using the same Wi-Fi connection. To pair your mobile video with your Google TV, you just simply need to select a show, and click on the TV icon (the universal sign for “Play” superimposed on the silhouette of a TV) that appears in the black navigation bar at the very top of the app. There are also a few bells and whistles that transform your Android mobile device into a remote control: While the video plays on your television screen, you can scroll through the video to skip ahead, pause, play, or skip to another video altogether.
Google and even Apple have stumbled over how to attract consumers to connected TVs and set top boxes, and mobile devices have ended up competing for this attention. It’s hard to challenge a device that can be carried anywhere, and connected TVs simply haven’t caught on with consumers, according to GfK’s latest study. But there’s an emerging trend where TV viewers are multitasking and browsing multiple devices while in front of the screen. In fact, mobile devices are increasingly being used as an auxiliary medium for finding out more information, about a TV show for example, or using it to browse the Web. There’s also the fact that, according to NPD, 70 percent of consumers are watching TV on non-TV devices.
This update should make it easier for YouTube users to be constantly connected to the network from at least one device, whether it’s their smartphone, tablet, or connected TV. “Since your devices are connected to the cloud, you can also do things like find the next video to watch from your tablet or browse around the web on your phone, all while the video plays on TV,” YouTube Product Manager, Timbo Drayson, explains in a blog post.
YouTube has been seeing tremendous growth over the past year with its app on over 350 million devices and with 25 percent of total YouTube views coming from mobile devices.
For now, this latest feature works only for Android devices and Google TV, but YouTube confirmed with us that the feature has been planned for more devices and screens in the near future.