YouTube, the Alphabet owned loss making video website has announced it is to launch an ad free subscription service calling it YouTube Red.
While only available in the US to begin with, YouTube Red will cost subscribers $9.99 a month for the no adverts service. The new service is called YouTube Red, and is set to launch next Wednesday, the 28th October.
Along with removing ads, subscribers will also able to save online content for viewing offline. One of the key features of Red will be the ability to keep videos running in the background on Android devices. For Apple devices such as iPhone and iPads, the service will cost $12.99 a month.
YouTube Red, will apparently give subscribers access to original shows and movies not found anywhere else on the internet, YouTube have stated. The exclusive content though will be behind the subscription paywall and it is unclear if that content will ever make its way out onto the normal YouTube site.
PewDiePie, Rooster Teeth, and Lilly Singh are among the well-known names involved. The shift from free to premium based content may also form part of a strategy by YouTube to hold onto its biggest stars. Subscribing to YouTube Red will also give users unlimited access to Google Play’s streaming music as well. This includes both audio, and music videos, a feature that commonly incurs an extra charge on other services such as iTunes and Spotify.
More money for Google, or for the users?
For Google, the service opens up a new revenue stream and one that might turn YouTube into a profitable company. As CD and download sales continue to decline, the move is also thought to make content partners such as record companies happy, as they now count on subscription streaming revenue to remain viable as businesses.
“For years, YouTube’s fans have been telling us they want more,” the company wrote in a blog post. “More choice when watching their favorite content, more ways to support their favorite creators and, above all, the option to watch their favorite videos uninterrupted.”
While traditional media companies continue to increase their revenues by going online, YouTube Red might just reveal a move in the opposite direction. The content now being displayed is far more likely to have been decided upon by executives and committees, despite claims that Red’s content will be still user driven.
YouTube Red may also have come sooner than was originally planned by Google. Facebook recently began auto-playing videos on its newsfeeds, and has also embarked on creating video sections on Facebook itself similar to the way YouTube works.
YouTube will offer US-based users a 1 month free trial of Red from 28 October. International availability, as well as pricing will also be announced within the next month.