Red-y for ad-free YouTube?
YouTube’s ad-free paid subscription service has some content creators seeing red
Logan Krupa, Tech Columnist
Nothing kills the joy of a good YouTube session quite like advertisements. One second, you’re about to watch one-hundred consecutive parodies of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video, and instead you get a pickup truck ad. Boo!
YouTube Red is the answer for those of us who hate advertisements on YouTube videos. The service has gone live in the United States for $10 USD a month, and will be offered in Canada sometime in 2016.
Upon subscribing, YouTube becomes entirely free of ads playing before videos. The service also offers the ability to download YouTube videos and view them offline, which is both useful for travellers and for those keeping an eye on their mobile data limits each month. Users will still have the option to view the large majority of YouTube’s content with ads, just the same as always.
A subscription to YouTube Red also gets users a subscription to Google Play Music, an excellent streaming music service that I have been using for the past year. The reverse is true as well: if you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, you automatically get a subscription to YouTube Red.
While YouTube Red may offer good value for subscribers, content creators on YouTube are uncertain about the implications of the subscription service. Under the previous model, content creators would be paid 55 per cent of the ad revenue from their videos. YouTube Red will pay content creators a portion of the revenues from their YouTube Red paid subscribers. YouTube has yet to publicly acknowledge what percentage of revenue content creators will make, but many are nervous.
The paid subscription service will also allow YouTube to more effectively compete with Netflix. YouTube will be offering a number of original series featuring prominent content creators and they will be available exclusively to YouTube Red subscribers.
Content creators on YouTube may feel wary, but they may also have reason for optimism. YouTube viewing rates are rising as many consumers refuse to pay the high cost of cable bills. A subscription model for YouTube could be a great step toward the future, allowing users to enjoy more content.
I look forward to subscribing when the services become available in Canada. Now excuse me, I’m going to get back to watching “Hotline Bling” parodies!