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YouTube’s latest attempt to get people to watch more videos is a service called Leanback, which keeps on playing a selection of full-screen clips until you tell it to stop. YouTube calls it “effortless viewing” and users don’t have to select anything. Instead, the non-stop lineup is determined by a users’ “settings and preferences,” including their subscriptions on the site and videos friends have recommended on Facebook.
YouTube says that with Leanback its site becomes “as easy as watching TV,” which, while true, may not be exactly what people want from YouTube on their computers (I was subject to a jarring selection of back-to-back music videos and tech interviews, which I eventually had to stop.)
But Leanback — which is in beta — fits with Google’s vision for Google TV, which is due to be released later this year and is designed to make online video watching and TV watching interchangeable on the TV. It’s easy to see how Leanback could be a prominent option on the platform and would be preferable to manually selecting clip after clip to watch while sitting on the couch.