YouTube Red, YouTube's latest creation to generate even more revenue, is under fire for the way the company has handled its biggest stars.
A YouTube Red subscription will free subscribers from having to endure pre-roll advertisements from their favorite YouTube channels — for a price, of course.
For $9.99 a month, subscribers get ad-free YouTube videos, access to Google Play Music, exclusive original content from YouTube official Creator partners like PewDiePie, and other unspecified perks.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent of the content on YouTube will be free, as it always has been," Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said of the service.
But where we consumers have the freedom of choice to stay with a free version of YouTube or upgrade to a paid subscription for it, YouTube Creators have seemingly been left without that same choice. It appears that YouTube played a heavy hand in pushing Creators to join the company behind their Red paywall.
If a Creator chooses to continue on their own without joining the Red bandwagon, YouTube will mark their videos as "private" and will only be viewable to the Creators themselves. In short, Creators not on Red will also not be on a public YouTube.
In their defense, YouTube claims that both creators and users have been asking for what is now YouTube Red.
"Today, the overwhelming majority of our partners, representing nearly 99 percent of the content watched on YouTube, have signed up. Videos of partners who don't update their terms will be made private, but we remain committed to working closely with these partners with the goal of bringing them on board," said a YouTube spokesperson.
That gray area of the one percent outliers is the tricky part. One percent amounts to a sizeable piece of the pie when the countless hours of content being uploaded on YouTube is considered. What happens to content creators with still sizeable followings who aren't official YouTube partners? These are people who still make money from their cut of advertising on their videos.
Either way, for both content creators and content consumers, it's going to be all about the money and YouTube has the final say.
Photo: Maurits Knook | Flickr