Earlier this year, reports that YouTube was preparing to launch an ad-free paid-subscription version of its online video service turned out to be press misinterpretations of comments made at a conference about the YouTube Music Key beta. But yesterday, YouTube confirmed that yes, it IS also planning a subscription tier for its general service too.
“We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favour of choice: offering fans an ad-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue,” explained an email to YouTube creators yesterday – the momentum being the “hundreds of thousands” of people invited to try YouTube Music Key, as well as 2m installs of the company’s YouTube Kids app.
Creators will get 55% of the revenues from YouTube subscriptions, divided up using their percentage of overall watch time for subscribers. The kicker – stop us if you saw this one coming – is that creators will have to sign up to updated terms and conditions first, and if they don’t, they won’t be able to make money from advertising on YouTube, and/or will have their videos set to ‘private’ on the service.
The Verge claims that the subscription tier is likely to cost $10 a month, but suggests that there will also be cheaper subscriptions for specific content categories, including music and kids. Will regular YouTube users pay $10 a month to remove ads and be able to store videos offline? Place your bets now, while wondering what this means for competition like Vessel that has gone with a lower $2.99 monthly subscription.