YouTube Will Soon Find Out If People Really Want to Pay
If you live in the US, YouTube Red goes live today.
After months of rumors, the world’s No. 1 Internet video destination finally announced its YouTube Red subscription service a week ago—and the new premium offering doesn’t sound half bad. For $9.99 a month, audiences can browse YouTube ad-free and get access to original programming from YouTube creators, save videos to watch offline, and play videos in the background on any mobile device.
The YouTube Red membership also works on the company’s recently launched Gaming app. During its launch, executives also clarified that Red can be thought of as interchangeable with a Google Play Music subscription (itself a $10 value). A YouTube executive also confirmed to WIRED that its upcoming podcast feature, which will soon live inside the Google Play hub, would also be part of the Red subscription service. In a way, the service is reminiscent of Amazon Prime, with its access to video, music, and e-books, though without the two-day shipping.
Of course, YouTube still must convince its massive billion-plus user base that subscription is the way to go after consuming it for free for years, a process that’s likely to be a bumpy road. To sweeten the deal, the company is offering a free one-month trial so new users can test the waters and start streaming Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Adele’s “Hello” nonstop, without ads, even when they’re offline.