Google's strategy to slowly kill off Youtube background play

Discussion in 'iOS 10' started by alec6542, Apr 26, 2017.


Can you still play YT in the background with iOS 10? (Try before voting)

Poll closed May 26, 2017.
  1. Yes

    10 vote(s)
  2. No

    32 vote(s)
  1. alec6542 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2012
    For the longest time, with iOS you could play youtube audio in the background by pressing the home button after the video starts, swiping up to CC, and pressing play. Now, that doesn't work. For a few days, private browsing in safari fixed the issue, but then that stopped working. So I downloaded Chrome, same problem. Then I downloaded Firefox, worked for 2 days, but now, nothing! This is not an isolated incident; check out this thread from Apple Support forum:

    There is no doubt this is intentional to get people to sign up for Youtube Red, but what really is interesting is Google's egregious yet brilliant approach to implementing the removal of this feature: rather than disable it for EVERYONE overnight, they are doing it piecemeal, little by little, disabling it for a few here and there, but not everyone, so as to prevent a backlash and PR nightmare. Think about it, if they did this overnight, there would be a huge backlash, with nasty articles written in the tech press deriding google for this move. Instead, you only see a handful of users complaining, while everyone else seems to be just fine, so it must just be a bug. But I assure you, one day you will wake up and it won't be working for you anymore either. I've tried every solution offered, including private browsing, third party browser, clearing safari history, and one by one, over the span of a few weeks, each solution has stopped working, so I assure you, this is no bug. I just want to get the word out that Google is in fact doing this, and doing it in such a way so that the public as a whole won't even notice, and not a single article is written about it. Yes, it was nice being able to play youtube in the background, but for me the worst part is that I cannot Airplay YT to my ATV and use my phone for anything else anymore. If I am Airplaying a YT video and then the phone goes to sleep, or if I lock the phone, or even press the home button exiting the app, the Airplay stream drops completely.

    To gauge what percent of MR users have been affected, I created a poll.
  2. Paddle1 macrumors 68040

    May 1, 2013
    Yep just tested it, not working. Here's another workaround for background play, instead of a third party browser use a third party "YouTube music player" app. It will circumvent the YouTube website's attempts to block background play.
  3. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Or just download each video or music and put them locally so YouTube could do nothing to stop people from playing local contents, unless they push law enforcement departments to ban people from playing stuff that way.
  4. DcGamer05 macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2011
    Danbury CT
    Tubie is a good app for that. You can choose streaming quality over cellular as well
  5. Salvor Hardin macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    They seem to be doing some sort of trick to stop playback due to knowing you're using iOS from its's user agent, if you play a video from any site that can embed or loop YouTube videos background play works as usual.

    I'd probably have to ask around about this but I wonder if it would be possible to use Safari's content blocker to block the HTML code they're using to do this.
  6. leventozler macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2009
    Hold refresh button and hit the "request desktop site." You'll be able to play in the background.
  7. cswifx Suspended


    Dec 15, 2016
    It's part of the YouTube policy that you do not use YouTube as a music player for mobile devices. That's why the Play Store doesn't have any 'YouTube background players', while the Apple App Store does. Google's just trying to enforce its policies on the iOS ecosystem, to which I see no problem, because you shouldn't be using YouTube as a music player in the first place.
  8. addamas macrumors 6502


    Apr 20, 2016
    They want to use YouTube Red. Glad to be JB and background playing with mikoto tweak...
  9. slingshott macrumors member


    Jan 23, 2017
    One thing I never understood with music on YouTube is what Vevo's role is. What do they bring to the table? I totally see where Google are coming from with the background play, the horrible scrubbing means I seldom use it anyway.
  10. cswifx Suspended


    Dec 15, 2016
    Vevo's more a music video place than music. It's the same concept of MTV I guess.
  11. Justaguy48 macrumors member

    May 2, 2017
    You can stream in the background if you have YouTube red. It's not about crippling YouTube on iOS, it's BA out pushing you to pay for their service.
  12. twinlight macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2016
    I never really understood the reason for background playback. Don't you want to see the video?

    Does it still use data for video without actually showing it?
  13. Cakefish macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2015
    Can't pay for a service that's unavailable in my country (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)
  14. Justaguy48 macrumors member

    May 2, 2017
    I believe it's for streaming music for free. It isn't what I would do, and personally I find background playback more annoying because I had to pause the video before I close the app.
  15. koifish22 macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2014
    Pale Blue Dot
    If you fullscreen a video when in landscape, you can still background it.
  16. yanki01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 28, 2009
    only way I got it to work was on safari, reload desktop site and play. hit home and swipe up and hit play again though obviously you won't be able to surf safari while it's playing.
  17. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    It makes sense. Why? YouTube makes money from ads. To get revenue from an ad, you have to be watching it. If you aren't in the YouTube app, you aren't watching it. You might hear it, but you aren't watching it, and companies are paying for ads that you watch and developing ads that focus on visual elements and not audio alone for their campaign to be successful. Therefore YouTube makes people pay for YouTube Red to stream in the background which offsets the lost ad revenue. Considering the bad place that YouTube is in lately with all of the big companies pulling their ads, it makes sense to accelerate this process.

    BTW, I'm not a Google fan. Just explaining how their business works.
  18. Goatllama macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2015
    Mountaintop Lair
    As @Justaguy48 said, it's for music streaming. Some songs aren't really available elsewhere (ex. Obscure chiptunes from old SNES games), and people tend to upload them to YouTube. YouTube should still profit from the ads, as they are hosting the videos. Then again, these uploaders could just use SoundCloud instead, which would suit this streaming purpose much better. Hopefully they'll start doing that instead.
  19. twinlight macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2016
    Only reason I'm looking at the ad is because it takes 5 seconds before I can hit skip.
  20. Feenician macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Use ProTube. Background play and Pip on ipad. No subscription.
  21. LDNA macrumors newbie


    Jul 2, 2017
    Wow YouTube are preventing people from not complying with their ToS :eek:

    If you don't agree with the ToS, then why do you still use their site?
  22. Technical Wrap macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2018
  23. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    It’s not a problem on iPad if you split screen YouTube with the app you’re using (supposing the other app supports it) generally just use the music app on iPhone if I want something on in the background.
  24. Feenician macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Another alternative for iPad is to get the (free) Pipifier which puts itself in the share sheet. Access YouTube in the browser, share->Pipifier and you can carry on about your business. You can handily resize or even through pip windows offscreen if you’re listening but not watching. Works on most other videos too.
  25. Jaekae macrumors 6502a

    Dec 4, 2012
    So much lol that people still try get free music in 2018 when we have many cheap and good streaming services

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