YouTube's offline viewing feature has its first major defector. Variety is reporting that Vevo will block YouTube's offline viewing feature, which lets viewers save videos to their device for up to 48 hours in case they lose connectivity. YouTube had previously blocked the feature for movies and TV shows purchased through the service.
It's a major step, given Vevo's sizable audience, but not entirely unexpected for YouTube. The paper also reports that YouTube had offered "a large group of partners" the chance to opt out of the program. Vevo is simply the first prominent content partner to take them up on the offer. Vevo declined to explain its reasons for opting out, but given the wealth of copyrighted content from the service's music industry partners, piracy concerns may have played a role. It's also likely to drive Vevo viewers towards the service's mobile and Apple TV apps, which offer more features for users and more comprehensive data for content partners.