After months of speculation, YouTube has announced today that it is indeed launching yet another monthly subscription service called YouTube Red.
The service will run $9.99 per month and allow you to access regular YouTube videos ad-free, while also providing some premium content produced by creators well-known to the YouTube audience such as PewDiePie. Additionally, your $10 per month will also give you access to YouTube Kids, YouTube Music Key, Google Play Music, and Twitch rival YouTube Gaming. YouTube will also give subscribers premium features such as the ability to save videos for offline viewing.
So, it’s a decent enough value, provided you watch a lot of YouTube content regularly.
The combination of streaming music and premium video is likely to attract at lease some degree of attention from younger consumers, as well as those that really don’t like ads. I think YouTube is also going in the right direction by attempting to differentiate itself from the other major players in streaming video, specifically Netflix and Hulu. And if YouTube Red does take off, my guess is that it wouldn’t be that difficult for Google to negotiate more premium TV content to give those other services a run for their money.
The most interesting thing about Red, though, might be how it’ll affect YouTube/Google’s ability to generate ad revenue. If YouTube is now pushing its users to pay for an ad-free option, the thinking is that it would limit how much money can be made by its creators. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be a concern for YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl, who told The Verge’s Ben Popper that the new subscription option has potential to do the opposite. If that does end up being true, it would certainly keep YouTube creators from hopping away to a growing number of streaming video players vying for content that appeals to a younger generation of viewers.
The new YouTube Red service is set to debut Oct. 26.