We received word this morning that YouTube has decided to end its short-lived video downloads beta program. David Rodriguez of StuffWeLike.com posted a video explaining the move yesterday along with an excerpt from the email he received from YouTube.
The email from YouTube stated:
“We want to thank you for supporting and participating in this beta test and for helping us make YouTube better, but we have decided not to fully productize this, for now. This means that we will continue to support downloads of videos that you previously submitted, but that you will not be able to enable any new videos for download. We apologize if this will cause any inconvenience. Meanwhile, we are re-evaluating on an ongoing basis whether/when to launch Downloads capability on YouTube as a fully supported commercial feature for all users and partners.”
We spoke with Rodriguez by phone this morning. He said he had been a part of the program since March and offered some of his videos for download both for free and for 99 cents. However, Rodriguez said that he never got any indication as to whether or not anyone was downloading his work.
YouTube’s decision to shut down the download program comes at a time when it is reportedly looking at charging to view some premium content via streaming. We’ve contacted YouTube for comment about this story and will update as we hear more.
The YouTube video download beta program launched in February of this year and was offered to partners. Rodriguez says he’s not really upset about the program closing as he would prefer to not have downloaded versions of his content in the wild, where people could upload it elsewhere.