YouTube Leanback Debuts In Beta | Bringing YouTube Into The Living Room Via Google TV

1 min read

youtube-logoYouTube is entering the living room. Or at least attempting to do so. But can YouTube Leanback, currently in beta but expected to fully launch alongside Google TV, manage to wean people off broadcast TV?

Living Room Ambitions

Things used to be so simple. Broadcast TV was watched on the television set in your living room, with online video confined to the computer in your office or bedroom. But things have changed somewhat over the past few years, and are set to continue changing in the future.

Set-top boxes, games consoles, and TVs which connect to the Web have all brought online video into the living room. While smartphones such as the iPhone and tablets such as the iPad have brought online video to the mobile world.

Next on the agenda is connected TV platforms such as Google TV and the BBC’s YouView.

YouTube Leanback

YouTube Leanback is set to be YouTube’s placeholder on Google TV, due to launch by the end of the year. However, it’s already available to beta test, and is versatile enough to be worth trying out on a desktop or laptop.

Leanback was announced at the end of May, and has made its debut this week. Leanback is an evolution from YouTube XL, and is an attempt to cut YouTube down to its bare basics so that it looks and feels more like a broadcast TV channel.

There are two elements to Leanback: the fullscreen, clutter-free experience; the effective creation of a personal YouTube channel based on an individual’s tastes.

If the video whets your appetite for YouTube Leanback then you can try it out for yourself right now by visiting Access requires you to be signed into your YouTube account, and connecting with Facebook is recommended.


I enjoyed messing around with Leanback, and I think once it becomes an integral part of Google TV it could do its job of encouraging people to watch YouTube for longer than they currently do.

Google certainly has an eye on the future when it comes to online video, and Leanback is part of its overall strategy to make the move into all our living rooms.