YouTube launches an ad-free video player for education

YouTube is introducing a handful of new features for creators and institutions using the platform for educational content.

In a blog post today, YouTube says it’s launching an embeddable video player for education apps that removes ads, external links, and recommendations so viewers can “avoid distractions.” Having a player without YouTube’s recommendation algorithm — built to keep you watching and serve you new content — is probably good for students using the platform for school. YouTube’s recommendation algorithm has been the subject of scrutiny for years over how it can serve up extreme content and misinformation.

The ad- and recommendation-free player will be open to select partners to start, including education tech companies like EDpuzzle, Google Classroom, Purdue University, and Purdue Global.

YouTube also announced new tools for creators making educational content on the platform — including ways to charge viewers for their videos. Beginning next year, certain creators will be able to make free or paid “courses,” with playlists of videos set up for audiences. If a viewer buys a course, they’ll be able to watch the content ad-free and play the videos in the background. Courses will come to the US and South Korea first in beta.

Finally, YouTube announced a new quiz feature that creators can set up in the community tab on their channel that relates to the educational content they make. The company will introduce quizzes in beta in the coming months, with creators getting access to the feature next year.

YouTube has introduced other initiatives and features in recent years around learning on the platform, like a $20 million fund for creators making education videos and recommendation-free playlists for topics like math, science, and music.