Our Technology Editor Kevin Kelly, questions how successful YouTube and Google's latest venture YouTube Red will be. Can YouTube Red follow in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon?
YouTube has long been the sleeping giant in the world of online content. The video streaming site, which now makes upwards of $5 billion a year in revenue, has announced plans to finally get on board with this trend.
YouTube Red, the new service from the Google company, will let you pay $10 a month to get an ad-free version of YouTube, with plenty of other features that really change how people will experience the site.
As well as letting you skip the continual 30 seconds before videos, you’ll be able to save videos for offline viewing too.
A feature that will surely change how you use YouTube - finally the ability to listen to videos in the background on the mobile app.
This is by far the biggest feature that everyone wants from YouTube. If they were to introduce this as a free feature, it would be the death knell for most music streaming services.
On top of this bumped up YouTube, you also get access to Google Play Music, meaning you have a proper music streaming service on top of YouTube.
Two high quality services for the same price as one from most providers is a very good move from Google, a company who have never shied away from offering good deals.
YouTube will also start making “original” content, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon.
Unlike those two though, YouTube already comes with a huge amount of established stars and content. If they match them with bigger budgets and broadcast television-quality production, YouTube has some good stuff on its hands.
But YouTube is free. That has been the reason for its success, and why traditional broadcast media feared it.
Now, they’re asking people to pay for some of it. YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, assured its consumers that, “99.9% of the content on YouTube will be free, as it always has been”.
Only 10 years old this year, YouTube has finally realised the potential it has been sitting on for the majority of its existence.
With over 1 billion users searching for the latest Minecraft tutorials or cat videos everyday, they have a user base there already that its competitors would kill for.
Unfortunately, YouTube Red could leave them dead. The service will be launched in the US on October 28th with it rolling out worldwide soon after.