YouTube Premium subscribers have been able to preview videos on the app's home screen for months now — videos play silently with captions until you scroll away from them. More people will be able to enjoy the feature soon, though, as the YouTube team has shared that "Autoplay on Home" is coming to non-Premium users over the next few weeks.
Auto-playing videos are handy for deciding whether a clip is worth your time without tapping to open it. The feature is on by default, but if you're concerned about mobile data consumption, it can be switched to Wi-Fi only, or turned off altogether if you're just not into it. Captions shown for each video are either added by the video's creator, automatically generated, or contributed by viewers — although creators have to opt into community caption contributions.
Coming to Android & iOS over the next few weeks... Autoplay on Home!
Preview a video while you scroll or watch the whole thing on mute w/ captions.
To turn on/off or customize to play only on WiFi, go to Settings > Autoplay > Autoplay on Home.
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) December 3, 2018
YouTube Premium's unique selling points continue to erode with the wider availability of auto-playing previews, as the streaming platform revealed last week that its YouTube Originals will be available without a subscription by 2020. These changes are beneficial to most users, but it remains to be seen how they'll affect Premium membership.
- YouTube Help Forum