YouTube just announced that it will remove ads and let people download content to their device for offline viewing. What a benevolent offer, if it didn't come with a $10 monthly charge.
In a post last Wednesday, Oct. 21, YouTube explained that "fans" asking for more viewing options have been yanking on its tail for quite a while now. The Google-subsidiary specified that these "fans" want to watch their favorite YouTube content creators uninterrupted. Thus, on Oct. 28, Wednesday, YouTube will launch YouTube Red.
With YouTube Red, "fans" can watch ad-free videos and even save them locally to their devices from which they can watch offline. Moreover, YouTube notes that those who will subscribe can enjoy their subscription on any device, or application, such as YouTube's freshly-launched Gaming and Music apps, that they sign in on.
Furthermore, YouTube Red subscribers will get exclusive access to "original shows and movies" from top content creators. The list includes PewDiePie, Fine Brothers, Mandeville films, Rooster Teeth, Fullscreen Films, Astronauts Wanted, Lilly Singh, Joey Graceffa, The Game Theorists, Wong Fu Productions, New Form Digital, CollegeHumor, Alpine Labs and Toby Turner - Stargate, Ubisoft, Sparkle? No? Okay. All these for $9.99.
Needless to say, as the like/dislike bar on the video that introduces YouTube Red suggests, YouTube's decision to add a premium membership isn't a welcome one. Nonetheless, it was an expected development ever since platforms like Vessel, which provides content creators with a steady revenue stream through subscriptions, came up.
However, it's not just Vessel that YouTube is competing against. People already have subscriptions for Hulu ($7.99/month), Netflix ($7.99/month), HBO Now ($14.99/month), Amazon Prime ($8.25) and other established instant video streaming services.
And although YouTube Red, which offers unique content from popular online personalities, can certainly co-exist with the others, which are more prominent for movies and TV shows, not everyone will have room in their budget for another monthly subscription. As much as people love YouTube content creators, there isn't much competition when they're pitted against Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.