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YouTube Considers Autoplay and Timed Playlists

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What are some potential future features of YouTube (s GOOG)? From a New York Times story today:

  • An automatically playing stream of clips customized to a user, instead of today’s list of suggested videos, which a user must click to play. “The idea is to push more videos at users in the hope of allowing them to abandon the keyboard and increasingly experience YouTube from the couch.”
  • “An ‘I’m feeling bored’ button next to the search box, echoing Google’s famous ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button.”
  • A way for users to tell YouTube how long they want to be entertained so that the site could make a custom playlist of that length.

The ideas mentioned above are caveated as potential test features being brainstormed, but the rest of the Times story will be familiar to NewTeeVee readers, covering director of product management Hunter Walk and his team’s efforts to get users to spend more time on the site. It’s an interesting but not new topic; I interviewed Walk about the YouTube user experience at our NewTeeVee Live conference last month, where he announced an upgrade to 1080p stream support (see video from the session embedded blow). And The Wall Street Journal had an extremely similar story this summer, with the example of a user becoming fatigued from watching tons of Van Halen videos and needing to be diverted to related or even serendipitously different content (instead, the Times story uses the very different example of Shaquille O’Neal fatigue).

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One Response to “YouTube Considers Autoplay and Timed Playlists”

  1. Just yesterday I moved a couch into my office so I could enjoy my computer as a media centre as well, and have been wanting a Front-Row/Apple TV-like experience for YouTube. Great to see that they’re making more steps in that direction, and that they still want people to consume MORE video, even as the market’s biggest player!