When we launched Leanback in July we wanted to create a simple, easy-to-use YouTube interface for the big screen. Since then we’ve graduated Leanback out of TestTube, added the ability to place ads to bring in more partner videos, and launched a YouTube Remote that lets you control your YouTube Leanback experience from your Android mobile phone. In our latest iteration, we’re enhancing the video discovery experience in Leanback with a new feature called Personalized Channels.

Personalized Channels is built to tackle one of the big challenges for our users: what should I watch next? It's a bit like having your own personal video delivery butler, serving you relevant videos that reflect what you like, or find interesting. For instance, if you create a ‘fail’ channel, it will start out showing the best fail videos we can find, and then gradually start branching out to pranks, funny commercials and other related topics. It will also adjust itself based on how you interact with the videos shown and get better the more you watch and interact with them.

Here’s how it works. Start by signing in to your YouTube account and go to YouTube.com/leanback and select “Create Channels”. We’ll suggest personalized channels to you based on the videos you have watched in the past. To create a new personalized channel, choose from the suggested channels or just type in a topic, like “cooking.”

We’ve put together a short video introduction to Personalized Channels, below, to get you started.


Like all products we launch, we’re eager for you to try it out and then give us suggestions on how we can make it even better. This project is still in its early stages and your participation and feedback will help us improve it (you can let us know your thoughts in the forum). Have fun and share with us in the comments below the personalized channels that would reflect you the best.

Christina Ilvento, product manager, recently created a personalized channel around “meerkats”, and Ben Liebald, Software Engineer, recently created a personalized channel on “marathon training”.