The message from YouTube is very clear, if the Premium subscription is not paid, the PiP function will not be available in iOS 14
One of the great new features in iOS 14 is Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode, which allows you to view a video in a small window while doing other things on the iPhone.
That could be useful if, for example, to watch a YouTube video in Safari while chatting or checking email, but unfortunately, YouTube seems to have done something to prevent videos from continuing to play when PIP mode is on, such as unless you pay for YouTube Premium.
Opening a video on the YouTube website in Safari for iPhone and putting it in full screen brings up the playback controls, where there should be a picture-in-picture icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
iOS 14’s picture-in-picture mode doesn’t work with YouTube in Safari. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/JwGLAmwhwb
— Jay Peters 🧇 (@jaypeters) September 18, 2020
YouTube blocks iOS 14 PiP mode
When tapped, the video briefly enters its own window before returning to its usual place on the YouTube site, and when attempting to return to the home screen, it flashes briefly in picture-in-picture mode before disappearing.
As MacRumors observed, it is possible to view YouTube videos in picture-in-picture mode if they are embedded in a website just like if you have YouTube Premium, the picture-in-picture function works as expected, but does not work correctly for users iOS free.
Picture-in-picture mode still works with YouTube videos in Safari if you’re using an iPad, regardless of whether you have a free or premium account, although it’s unclear if this is a bug or if YouTube intentionally removed the functionality.
Within its own application, YouTube limits the ability to play videos in the background for YouTube Premium subscribers, suggesting that YouTube wants to restrict picture-in-picture.