On 28th October 2015, Youtube launched a new service called Youtube Red. It will only be available within U.S. territories until YouTube is able to expand the service to those number of locations.
This service offers, ad-free viewing as part of YouTube Red. Play Music on-demand service is a new $9.99 subscription for ad-free viewing across all of YouTube. However, iOS users will be charged $12.99 to cover Apple’s in-app purchase tax.
The new service replaces Google Music Key and gives users a simpler way to watch or listen to YouTube video instantly and Play Music content on-demand without having those annoying ads pop up every 5 minutes (ok, may have slightly exagerrated).
YouTube Red won’t be a stand alone app, it will just be added onto your existing YouTube and Google accounts. To be clear, paying $9.99 for either YouTube Red or Google Play, will get you the other service too, so if you’re already a Google Play Music subscribers, you’ll also get a subscription to YouTube Red. YouTube Red is offering a one month free trial for viewers in the United States (U.S.).
Google is announcing they will be launching 10 new original shows on Youtube Red, including video from the massively popular PewDiePie and an as-yet untitled project from the team at CollegeHumor.
There’s a variety of content, from full-length films and documentaries to episodic TV-style content. PewDiePie’s show, called Scare PewDiePie, is described as a “reality adventure series” that’ll be made with the creators and executive producers of The Walking Dead (mind…blown).
A Trip to Unicorn Island, a documentary focusing on Lilly “Superwoman” Singh. Fight of the Living Dead, a reality competition produced by Alpine Labs, which will feature YouTube talent attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse.
I Am Tobuscus, a comedy series starring Toby Turner as himself, satirizing the life of a YouTube celebrity. Lazer Team, a sci-fi comedy film produced by Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films. Scare PewDiePie, a horror-themed reality series starring video game streamer PewDiePie, in which he will be placed into live-action scenarios inspired by horror video games. The series will be produced in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment of The Walking Dead fame. Sing It!, a 10-episode parody of reality music competitions produced by The Fine Brothers and Mandeville Films.
The service makes a lot more sense than Google having a slew of limited subscription services with restrictions as to what you could access.
The company says that watching the YouTube Music Key beta, it learnt that users didn’t want to be told what was considered “music” and what would be ad-free, and what wasn’t.
YouTube Red could give Spotify and Apple Music a run for their money, because it doesn’t just offer on-demand music, but everything on YouTube without those annoying pre-roll and pop-over ads.
While Apple Music and Spotify are trying to make strides into video, YouTube has been king for a decade. If the future is a subscription marrying all media types together, YouTube Red might make its competitors green with content envy.
Beyond music, YouTube Red also works, with the recently launched YouTube Gaming service, and your YouTube Red membership will work across whatever platform you use it on: iOS, Android, the web and “anywhere you sign into YouTube.” Presumably, that means you’ll get ad-free playback on devices like the Apple TV and Roku as well as consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
As for making content on YouTube, the rumors of forced participation in the subscription service are true.
YouTube executives confirmed that if you publish videos to social site YouTube and support them with advertising, you must also take part in the YouTube subscription service. If you don’t, their videos will be marked private and no-one will be able to find them.
YouTube said this was because, they didn’t want someone to subscribe to YouTube Red and suddenly discover that some videos aren’t available. The question of revenue payouts is certainly a big one, so time will tell how YouTube’s creators fare financially under this new system.
From a consumer perspective, $9.99 per month seems pretty reasonable, when you consider all the perks and advantages you are given.