In the world where we are increasingly bombarded with advertisements and a push to read awful content, YouTube has come up with a novel solution, urging ‘pay us and we’ll stop it’. But, it’s not that novel as Spotify has been doing it for years now. And so YouTube Red is born – a way of watching as much YouTube content as you want without constantly having to wait the longest five seconds of your life before you can skip – in many you can’t – to your favourite Miley Cyrus video.
If you’re outraged because it sounds like blackmail then you shouldn’t be. The reason services like YouTube are free is because they fuel their operations through ad revenue. If you want to use these services but don’t want adverts then they have to get their money from someone else – namely you, so suck it up.
YouTube Red: A Bundle of Services
If you’re a paid up subscriber to YouTube Red you get Google Play Music and its 35 million songs thrown in for free. That’s a saving of $9.99 a month (approximately £6.50). Alongside Google Play, you also get the YouTube gaming app and the soon to be launched YouTube music app – both without adverts.
Offline is the new online
Ok, access to enough songs to last you a lifetime has already been done by Spotify and Apple Music amongst others and the general consensus is that they’ve done it marginally better than Google Play. Likewise paying to lose the adverts is not new, but here’s where YouTube Red starts to get really interesting: you will be able to save all your favourite YouTube videos offline. So no matter where you are, whether it be hiding in your underground bunker or standing triumphantly atop mount Snowden, you will still be able to watch your favourite Miley Cyrus video* on your phone or tablet.
Original content promised
For some time now YouTube has been telling us it’s been investing in its most popular stars. With YouTube Red, we will finally see the fruits of this investment. Starting next year YouTube Red users will have access to a selection of exclusive and original content. Want to watch a reality TV show starring Joey Graceffa? No, me neither. But there are loads of other shows that you probably will want to see, for instance, a collaboration between the producers of The Walking Dead and internet sensation Pewdiepie, or a series focusing on the absurdity of the internet by the people behind CollegeHumor.
Someone at Netflix just woke up in a cold sweat
If you have fibre broadband internet and a smart TV then you will be able to watch any video you like instantly, ad-free and uninterrupted in the comfort of your living room. And if YouTube Red is as serious about creating original content as they say they are (and by hiring Suzanne Daniels, former head of programming for MTV it certainly looks like they are) then they are definitely treading on the toes of SVOD giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
How much will it cost?
YouTube Red will cost $9.99 per month ($12.99 to Apple users which seems a little fascist). It’s more expensive than Netflix ($8.99 per month) and Amazon Prime (approximately $8.50 per month), but you get Google Play which is worth $9.99 on its own so it looks like good value for money. Whether it can eventually challenge Netflix and the others depends on the quality of its original content. At least you’ll still be able to watch your favourite Miley Cyrus video*. YouTube Red will be launched in America on the 28th October and we’re told it will launch in Europe soon after.