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According to a report last month from Deadline, the YouTube premium series Cobra Kai would be moving to a different streaming service for its third season. The show, which is produced and distributed by Sony Pictures TV and based on a continuation of the Karate Kid, was said to end up on a rival streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. Today that news has been confirmed, with Netflix picking up the program.
One of the major perks of paying for YouTube has been access to its original content. Programs like Cobra Kai or Unicorn Island have brought existing YouTube personalities to the fore in new and interesting ways. That may be changing, though, as YouTube is reportedly axing its high-end original programming.
When Android 8.0 Oreo introduced picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, the obvious beneficiary of the new feature was Google's first-party YouTube app. Unfortunately, Google decided at the time that the advantage of nested playback was best locked behind a YouTube Red subscription. Based on recent developments, though, that may be set to change. We've seen several reports that some videos are allowing for PiP playback without a YouTube Red subscription.
The new YouTube clusterfuck was announced about three weeks ago, but not many changes have occurred yet. The YouTube Music app has been updated, but YouTube Red branding still hasn't been switched to YouTube Premium, and the YouTube Music web player still showed "coming soon" for almost everyone. It looks like some of that may be about to change, though.
Google's current services for music and video overlap a bit... to say the least. There's YouTube Red, which gives you ad-free videos and some bonus features. Then you have YouTube Music, which is more oriented towards music videos, and requires a YouTube Red subscription. Google Play Music is purely music-based, and functions as both a streaming service (like Spotify) and a storage location for your vast collection of MP3s.
YouTube may officially hold the crown for different service names, as long as you count the ones that appeared and never seem to launch. When the YouTube Red name first turned up, everybody was rightfully skeptical, but it turned out to be the ultimate replacement for the "Music Key" subscription. In just the last few months, we've seen the names Plus, Premiere, and Remix pop up, but none have yet to evolve into a final name. Yet another name from the thesaurus is joining the list, but this time, it's probably serious. Say hello to YouTube Premium.
Ever since Assistant rolled out, you have been able to ask it to play any YouTube music video you wanted, except you had to say "watch [this video] on YouTube" from your phone, or if you were using a Google Home speaker, you could ask to "play [something] on the tv/chromecast." The "watch," "on YouTube," and, "on tv" distinctions had to be used, because Assistant considered YouTube as a video source (like Netflix) and not a music one (like Play Music). However, many of you go to YouTube as the first (and maybe only) music source and if you're one of these users, you'll be happy to know you can finally tell Assistant to set YouTube as your default music provider.
Of all the streaming music services, I find YouTube Music the most puzzling. This is undoubtedly because I am not a millennial, and by that I mean I am old and irrelevant. YouTube Music clearly doesn't need me to understand its appeal, because its Android app just passed the 50,000,000 installs threshold on the Play Store.
It's clear Google sees a benefit in owning a music service to rival Spotify and Apple Music, but making it happen is proving incredibly difficult. Google Play Music hasn't exactly captured the imagination, in no small part due to its terrible app, and YouTube Red (previously YouTube Music Key) hasn't fared much better. Fear not, another attempt is on its way.
One of Android Oreo's best features is Picture-in-Picture mode for phones and tablets. When you press the home button while playing media (on an app that supports PiP), the video collapses to a floating window that you can move around the screen. YouTube is one of the few apps that support this feature already, but it's only enabled if you pay for YouTube Red. Thankfully, there is a way to force PiP mode for any app that supports it, including YouTube and Google Maps.