YouTube is launching Red next week, a new subscription streaming service designed to compete with Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Rdio, and other music streaming services. The launch of the new service was announced at simultaneous press conferences in New York City and San Francisco Wednesday.
Users will pay $9.99 per month for unlimited ad-free playing. The service is $12.99 per month for people who sign up through iOS because Apple charges an extra fee for in-app purchases. The effort is part of a long term plan to get users to pay for YouTube. The number of people who will decide to pay for Red is unknown, but many predict that the figures will be pretty impressive.
Red users will be able to use other apps on their phones and still hear the music playing in the background, something you cannot do with the current YouTube app. Red will also allow people to save videos for offline playing. YouTube hosts a ton of different kinds of content, letting users explore more than just music. While music is mostly about the listening, the ability to watch the videos as well adds much more to the experience. Ten videos have reached the one billion-play mark on YouTube.
YouTube Red subscribers will also be able to access original content from YouTube’s most popular creators. YouTube will pay the creators to make some of the original content promoted as part of YouTube Red. PewDiePie, the Fine Brothers, Lilly Singh and Joey Graceffa have all signed on to create high-production videos and shows exclusive to YouTube Red. A year ago, the company announced that it would pay its top creators to make videos, but did not disclose that the content would only be available on a new premium service.
There probably isn’t anybody left on the planet who isn’t familiar with YouTube and how it works. Red isn’t expected to have much of a learning curve. Even if Red operates slightly differently than the current YouTube, the world knows and loves YouTube, and that attachment is very powerful. More details about the service will be known after its release next week.