YouTube app for iPhone doesn’t allow you to listen to background videos or podcasts while multitasking. The problem is whenever you exit the YouTube app, the video stops playing. Other apps like the Phone or Music apps will keep working when the iPhone screen locks.
A common workaround was to listen to free music by putting music videos in a playlist. All that changed when streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music launched. if you’d like to keep a YouTube video playing while multitasking, here is what you should do.
Step 1: Get YouTube Premium
The first thing you will need to get is a YouTube Premium subscription. Unfortunately, this is the primary method to listen to free content while multitasking. Don’t worry, we will cover another free method at the end.
A YouTube Premium Membership costs $11.99 per month and gives you unlimited access to ad-free content, so you will never need to sit through an annoying ad again. You can sign up at anytime online or on the YouTube app.
Step 2: Go to the YouTube App
Once you sign up for YouTube Premium, go to the YouTube app on your iPhone, and sign into your account. At this point, you should no longer see any ads when you watch videos, and you should get all of the features of YouTube Premium.
Step 3: Find the Video You Want to Listen to
To keep playing videos in the background, find a video you want to play. Select the video and start watching it as you normally would.
Step 4: Use Your Phone For Something Else
Finally, switch to a different app or even lock your phone. If everything works, your video should continue playing uninterrupted while using other apps.
Listen on the Safari App
Alternatively, you can use do a trick with the Safari app. Instead of using the YouTube app, open YouTube in the Safari web browser. However, you need to request the desktop website on Safari by clicking the “AA” icon next to the website address. Then select “Request Desktop Website.”
After that, you can start playing the video like normal. Go ahead and hit the lock button, which will stop playback. Finally, swipe down to open the Control Center and hit the play button to start playing outside the Safari app.
For a helpful walkthrough of these steps, check out the following video:
Another method for watching and listening to YouTube videos in the background without paying a monthly subscription is AirPlay. This Apple feature lets you play a video through an Airplay-compatible device such as AirPods or a TV.
To get started, go to the YouTube app or the website on a web browser and find a video to play. Then, look for the AirPlay logo, which is a screen with a triangle. A menu will appear where you can select a device to stream. You may need to enter a code that shows up on the screen, but once playback starts, you can close the phone or even exit the app.
YouTube Premium VS YouTube Red
If you’ve been around YouTube for a while, then you may be familiar with YouTube Red. This was the company’s previous subscription service that featured ad-free videos. They changed the name as part of a rebrand and added new features. Today, it’s a completely different service from YouTube TV. Red is more of a cable replacement than a premium service.
YouTube Premium subscription has some additional benefits that make the service worthwhile. Besides supporting Background Play, YouTube Premium also has free video downloads. So, you access content offline. You even get access to YouTube Premium Music, a streaming service that lets you listen to unlimited music.
Is YouTube Premium Worth it?
YouTube Premium is a pretty good subscription if you watch a lot of content on the platform. You can watch unlimited content without ads as a subscriber. However, it likely won’t be worth it if you want to listen to music or videos in the background on your iPhone. Spotify or Apple Music are better alternatives.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©photobyphotoboy/Shutterstock.com.