Get your wallets ready, YouTube has created a subscription service. Yesterday YouTube Red went live in the U.S., and soon it’ll take hold around the world.
Remember when you could play music from your YouTube app with the screen turned off or while you did something else on your phone? Or how about way back in the day when YouTube was ad-free? Those good ol’ days are back … sort of.
YouTube Red is a subscription service that turns your YouTube video consumption into a smooth, relaxed, watch when and how you want on your terms, ad-free experience. For $9.99/month, the new cost of a Netflix subscription, YouTube Red users get to experience ad-free content they can download for offline viewing or play in the background while conserving their mobile device’s power or using another app.
As if that weren’t enough, the video giant is officially taking the plunge into original content, stating on their official blog page, “Starting early next year, YouTube Red will get even better with access to new, original series and movies from some of your favorite creators.”
For $9.99/month YouTube Red users will receive:
• Ad-free viewing – which includes banner and text ads around the site as well.
• Offline viewing – which is only available for Android and iOS app users.
• Background play – which is, of course, an app-centric feature.
• Original content – which isn’t yet available but has been officially promised to come soon.
On top of it all, YouTube Red members also get a free subscription to Google Play Music, which is a bit ironic considering it renders the main use of Red’s background play functionality pointless. YouTube originally moved background play from its app after it realized many of its users were using the app to listen to music for free while they worked, exercised or simply decided to turn off their mobile device to conserve power. Anyone with a Google Play Music subscription will also receive a YouTube Red membership for free.
Right now the service is offering a free month to new and potential customers. You get the free month regardless of when you cancel too, making it possible to immediately cancel the service and still enjoy it for 30 days risk-free.
YouTube Red is available for use across all devices, even though certain benefits are device specific as previously mentioned. The benefits also apply to YouTube’s new Gaming app, which offers video game streaming content like what you’d find on Twitch.tv.
Basically, YouTube Red is everything people have dreamed of being since the video content giant started implementing ads. It’s hard to think this service won’t be incredibly profitable, with or without top-of-the-line original series and movies. The only caveat is it’s only available in the U.S. right now.
The real question is whether or not YouTube Red will serve as competition for Netflix and the various other monthly subscription services that have been cropping up year-after-year. People’s wallets can only be strained so far before they have to start making tough decisions, and many are sure to place YouTube Red above most others.