YouTube trials video downloads

YouTube is to let its users download free and paid-for videos.

YouTube is to let its users download free and paid-for videos.

The Google-owned site has launched a pilot which enables users to watch its videos while not connected to the internet.

It has partnered with US universities including Stanford, Duke and UC Berkeley to allow people to download free educational videos. Other partners include non-profit educational organisation Khan Academy, how-to videos site Household Hacker and entertainment site Pogobat, which are selling videos through YouTube.

Thai Tran, YouTube product manager, said in a blog on its site that the company is “testing an option that gives video owners the ability to permit downloading of their videos from YouTube. Partners could choose to offer their video downloads for free or for a small fee paid through Google Checkout.”

YouTube has called for interested companies to get involved in the pilot by filling in a questionnaire.

The new way to monetise the site follows last month’s rollout of new ad formats ( 19 January 2009).

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