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YouTube takes a page out of Spotify’s book, hopes you’ll pony up

For a few bucks, YouTube will nix ads and offer offline viewing, but will the public buy in, or are we already conditioned to tolerate ads?

youtube red

youtube red

YouTube rolls out YouTube Red

YouTube has finally unveiled its long-rumored subscription video service, launching on Oct. 28th. The service, YouTube Red, will provide members with all videos across YouTube, without ads, for $9.99 a month.

It will also give members ad-free playback, the ability to keep videos running in the background (without clicking out of the app to check an email), and the ability to save anything to a device for offline viewing.

In addition, the subscription will come bundled with a gaming app, a new YouTube kids section, and a YouTube Music app, which will be available later in the year.

The music app will allow listeners to discover new music: the member will sign in, choose a track, and YouTube will suggest different artists. It’s designed to be a “personalized music journey” based on each member’s taste and choices.

Exclusive content to rival Hulu and Netflix

As if that’s not premium enough, next year YouTube Red will provide even more incentives for members–it’s set to debut original content, exclusively to subscribers, such as new shows from beloved YouTube stars. With Red, YouTube is signaling a shift from an ad-funded video service to a media company that will rival Hulu and Netflix.

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Hulu and Netflix however, don’t host millions of independent creators who were persuaded to participate with the subscription service (or risk their videos being marked private or unavailable). Many of these YouTube creators have been up in arms about the contracts they were asked to sign, but some feel that the subscription service–shifting away from an ad model–will be advantageous, possibly creating even more viewership and revenue.

But will the public buy in?

The question is: will fans and viewers, accustomed to being entertained for free, pony up 10 bucks a month for this new, souped up version?

YouTube is, of course, counting on it, and if all of the shiny tricks they’re unveiling isn’t enough to draw us in, they are offering a month long trial for the service, starting Oct. 28th, for the price that we’re all used to (free!).


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Written By

Amy Orazio received her MFA in Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles. She lives in Portland now, where she is enjoying the cross section of finishing her poetry manuscript and writing for The American Genius.



  1. Gerard

    October 27, 2015 at 11:15 am

    US Only I presume.

  2. Pingback: Spotify is crushing Apple Music in subscriptions - The American Genius

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