YouTube is testing a new feature that’ll allow Premium subscribers to lock the screen and help avoid accidental taps and touches. We saw Netflix do something similar several years ago, and now it could finally be coming to YouTube—as long as you’re a paying subscriber.
Lately, we’ve heard much about changes or potential new features coming to YouTube. And while those vary from playable games and different video quality options, this latest one is about improving usability.
I get frustrated when I accidentally pause a video or tap on an ad, wreaking havoc on my viewing experience. Apparently, the company is working on a fix, and select YouTube Premium users are seeing a new “Lock Screen” option in settings. While in full-screen mode, this completely locks the YouTube display, so you can’t tap or pause the video on accident.
By disabling touch input, users won’t accidentally pause, fast forward, or tap those recommended video boxes. However, it sounds like this is only in the testing and experiments stage, as not all YouTube Premium subscribers have access.
To check, play a video, tap the screen, head into settings and look for “Lock Screen.” But again, not everyone has it yet.
Considering that most users don’t pay for YouTube Premium, this could be one of several things Google tries to get more people to pay a monthly fee. For those unaware, YouTube Premium is $11.99 a month and lets you watch videos or listen to YouTube music completely ad-free, enables background playback when your screen is off, and enables downloading videos for offline playback.
The company recently signed an exclusive deal to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket, and it’ll want to deliver a top-tier user experience. We also hear that YouTube is looking at ways to ban ad blockers, improve 1080p streams with a new “1080p Premium” bitrate for paying customers, and more.
These changes improve the experience and could convince users to switch to Premium. If Google delivers better streams and valuable features like screen locks, it might be enough to get people like you and me to sign up.