Home > tech-news > news > Google’s YouTube Red offers ads-free music at $9.99

New Delhi: Google Inc is launching YouTube Red, its new musical offering on 28 October in the US. Touted to be the ultimate YouTube experience, the new subscription-based service will be ads-free.

According to the company’s blog post, YouTube Red will let viewers enjoy videos without ads on YouTube, allow them to save videos to watch offline and play videos in the background, all for $9.99 a month. The membership extends across devices, including Google’s recently launched Gaming app and the new YouTube Music app.

The new service “is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever. Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you."

Features

Offline videos: With YouTube Red, the user will be able to save videos and playlists to watch offline. You can download the YouTube content to your device in a resolution of your choice, which means that the file size can be adjusted according to the amount of storage you have available on your device.

Background play: This will enable you to keep a video playing in the background while your phone is in your pocket, or while you’re answering an email on your phone. This feature can be customized so you can choose to play videos in the background all the time, when headphones or speakers are connected, or never.

Access to original content: Google and YouTube have grand plans for its subscription service, including the creation of original content. The company says that starting from next year, YouTube Red members will get access to new, original shows and movies from some of YouTube’s biggest creators.

Two-for-one: As a special bonus for music lovers, YouTube Red works with Google Play Music, so if you subscribe to one, you will automatically get access to the other.

What does this mean for content creators?

YouTube has a huge band of content creators who can post original content free of cost. But for YouTube Red, they would have to sign up a contract, without which their videos will be removed from public viewing.

In an article in TechCruch, YouTube confirmed that any “partner" creator who doesn’t agree to sign its revenue share deal for its new YouTube Red $9.99 ad-free subscription will have their videos hidden from public view on both the ad-supported and ad-free tiers. This would be a huge blow for the content creators as YouTube is seen as a one-stop shop for converting clicks into cash as it boasts of an unparalleled audience of 1 billion users monthly and growing.

In fact, sports channel ESPN’s videos have already started disappearing from YouTube channels in the US since its other contracts prevent it from signing up with Red.

“ESPN is not currently part of the Red service. Content previously available on the free YouTube service will be available across ESPN digital properties," ESPN said in a statement to tech website 9 to 5 Google.

TechCrunch reports, however, that ESPN cannot sign the YouTube Red agreement due to various deals it has in place with other distribution partners.

While YouTube is tightlipped about its revenue sharing deal, the company claims that creators who sign up to the service will be paid a majority percentage of the total subscription pie. This will be based on the popularity of each video. For the record, other subscription-based music services like Spotify pay 70% to their content partners while Apple Music pays 71.5%. In comparison, YouTube is likely to pay only 55% of the revenue, according to the new terms of the YouTube Partner Program.

Is this the end of free YouTube?

Music lovers and experts are debating if a subscription-based Red spells the end of a free YouTube. Will existing fans convert into happy paid subscribers? Even if they don’t, the company says that the vast majority of content on YouTube would be freely available to all. Industry experts are unanimous in their view that YouTube Red priced at $9.99 (the same as rivals Spotify and Apple Music), could give Spotify and Apple Music a run for their money as YouTube has been the king of the video industry for over a decade and has not only deep pockets, original content and a strong community of YouTubers, but a billion-strong user base.

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