For years, YouTube’s fans have been saying that they want 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. So, on October 28th, YouTube introduced YouTube Red – a new membership designed to provide users with the ultimate YouTube experience.
So last Wednesday YouTube unveiled a new $10-a-month subscription plan called Red that combines ad-free videos, new original series and movies from top YouTubers, along with a subscription to Google Play Music, which is an on-demand unlimited streaming music service. Red builds on Google’s existing music streaming service by providing ad-free access to YouTube programming, along with features such as the ability to download videos to mobile devices and have music playing in the background while using other mobile apps – something that you can’t do right now with the official YouTube mobile app.
Unfortunately though, like many music and video streaming services originating from the US, this service is only available in the US at the moment. With that in mind, I’ve spoken to several YouTube reps and they say there are plans to roll this out in Canada over the course of the next year. So stay tuned as I would estimate it to be available sometime in the new year.
The move comes amid a boom in consumer appetite for ad-free experiences. Ad-blocking software has become popular on personal computers, and Apple’s iOS 9 operating system update last month allowed ad-blocker apps to run on its mobile Safari browser for the first time.
Worldwide usage of ad blockers rose 41 per cent last year to nearly 200 million people and so YouTube is not immune to people using add blocker web browser plugins and apps that bypass the ads currently running in YouTube videos. So, I would estimate it is a workaround for YouTube against ad blocking.
Red targets YouTube fans who want to skip ads, while giving them a chance to pass along some cash to their favorite video creators, who’ll share in the new revenues. It comes as streaming services like Hulu, Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn offer ad-free as a paid option. So I would say it’s the next logical step for one of the most popular and biggest music and video service on the web.
Most Youtubers who I spoke with say YouTube and Google have always been extremely up front and fairly equitable with them. So I anticipate and hope that they will remain the same way with this new monthly pay model.
Well it looks like there is some fallout already from content creators like ESPN. Because of this new monetizing model, companies like ESPN’s video content has been pulled off of YouTube in the US, because they currently can’t participate in the YouTube Red service due to rights issues surrounding its content.
And so in the end, it might come down to regular users might not be able to see or watch some original content because they are not paid subscribers that they would of otherwise seen if there were just standard ads at the beginning of the video. So, I’d say food for thought when it does roll out here in Canada.
YouTube Red exclusive first hands-on