That’s right, the world’s most popular streaming site is asking $165 per year in exchange for premium memberships — starting today.
The additional service, named YouTube Red, offers paying subscribers: ad-free content, the ability to play videos offline, coordinates with the use of other apps, as well as giving dual access to Google Play Music.
At $US9.99 (approx. $AU13.50) a month, the United States will be the first to trial the new service. An official Australian release date is yet to be announced, but the rest of the world is expected to soon follow.
Social media specialist Neil Bates believes subscription revenue may end up being fed back into the online community.
“Not many content creators on YouTube are making money,” Mr Bates told The Newsroom. “For every PewDiePie, there are a million smaller channels making pennies. I think this move is more about YouTube getting deeper into music than the visual content.
“This subscription model could give YouTube the ability to pay content creators more.”
“As an Australian, it would be great if YouTube Red was able to support content creation that we could receive at the same time as the US, and not geo-blocked.” said Mr Bates.
But when asked if he would pay the monthly fee, Mr Bates had a change of tone.
“Personally, no [I wouldn’t pay]. But I am sure I am a dinosaur by YouTube’s target demographic aspirations … I’m not generally into subscription models.”
24-year-old creative strategist Lizbeth Pal is an ideal consumer for YouTube; yet even she struggles to find a need to pay.
“I’d rather spend subscription fees on Spotify because I use it for music. Any video content I
watch that’s longer than five minutes is usually a Vimeo or a documentary I find on Netflix,” Miss Pal told The Newsroom.
“I think $US9.95 a month is a little rich. If it were perhaps $AU5.00 a month I’d consider.
“But wouldn’t pay full price for little more than ad-free content, there’s so many ways around that.”
The video-sharing site also announced the coming launch of YouTube Music. A feature that will put them in direct competition with paid music leaders including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and the likes.
While traditional YouTube will remain available, users will continue to pay with their time. Currently un-skippable adverts can last as long as 30 seconds anywhere before, during or after a video roll.
Individually favoured videos being the most interrupted by ads. – Jessica Ankomah.
Top photo by Sarah Allen