Discord begins testing YouTube integration weeks after Google shut down music bots


Discord begins testing YouTube integration just weeks after Google-owned YouTube forced two popular Discord music bots offline. YouTube integration started showing up on a small number of Discord servers today as part of what appears to be a new test of collaboration between Discord and YouTube.

The feature is called Watch Together, and as the name suggests, it allows Discord members to watch YouTube videos together. A test of a similar Discord feature started 10 months ago before disappearing and resurfacing as Watch Together today, and we understand the company has re-prioritized this particular feature due to recent music bot shutdowns.

Discord’s new Watch Together feature in action.

Watch Together is very similar to the experience of someone casting their screen in Discord, and the button to launch it even appears next to the video and screen sharing options. It is specially designed for YouTube, allowing members of the Discord server to create a playlist of YouTube videos by searching or pasting YouTube links. You can even activate a remote button that lets other members of the Discord server share the ability to control playback.

While not the same as the Rythm and Groovy Discord music bots, you can use Watch Together to listen to music through YouTube in Discord. However, you might end up hearing or seeing advertisements. Discord warns, when you first use the Watch Together feature, that “you may see advertisements during YouTube videos”.

Discord YouTube Ads Warning.

The addition of ads and potential revenue opportunities for Google-owned YouTube comes just weeks after YouTube began aggressively shutting down Discord music bots. The Google-owned company sent a cease and desist letter to Groovy Bot last month, forcing the popular service to go offline within days. YouTube then turned its attention to the most popular Discord music bot, Rythm, and it stopped working earlier this month.

We understand this is only rolling out to friends and family Discord servers today, followed by a larger beta on smaller servers, and then more availability in the coming weeks. Discord tentatively aims to launch it to all users by the end of October.

We reached out to Discord and Google to comment on the new YouTube integration, but Discord declined to comment. Google did not respond in time for the post.

Update, September 22, 4:25 p.m. ET: Article updated with information about the ad experience in Watch Together.


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