The only thing worse than not being able to listen to music all the time is having to stop the music you’re currently enjoying to find the next song you’ll play. Streaming services have traditionally solved this solved this problem by anchoring the music player to the bottom of the application or mobile app, but video platforms are another story. On most platforms, to move from one video to the next users must accept a playlist determined by algorithms or leave the clip they’re watching in search of whatever will follow. That action creates gaps in the listening experience, and in the case of views, the decision to leave a clip can mean the difference between whether or not your enjoyment of the track counts toward the total view count.
Google, who owns YouTube, found a solution to these gaps earlier this year when it introduced a ‘mini-player’ to the YouTube Android app. The update created a picture-in-picture experience that allows those with a YouTube Premium subscription to continue watching their favorite videos while simultaneously searching for other content on the app. Now, that same functionality is being made available to desktop users.
Here’s how it works:
Hover over the video player to see a new “mini player” button, which allows you to continue watching your video while you browse YouTube.
The video appears in the bottom right-hand section of the screen and cannot be moved around, but users are free to browse YouTube while watching the video. The mini-player also comes with controls when you hover over the miniaturized player. Users can click an ‘X’ on the player to close it.
Studies have shown that YouTube is one of the main reasons many music consumers refuse to pay for services such as Spotify and Apple Music. A report released in April of this year revealed that 55% of people claim to discover new music through YouTube or similar video platforms. The same report noted that 85% of YouTube users claim their primary reason for engaging with the platform was music consumption.
With the release of their mini-player, YouTube is actively working to increase video views for all creators. More views are good for everyone, and this tool will (hopefully) aide in discovery by giving people fewer reasons to click off something they might not initially enjoy.
We have more tips for navigating the world of YouTube in our archives. We also have additional content on the subject coming soon. Follow Haulix on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you never miss any valuable advice.