Cameron Brown

My Thoughts on YouTube Red

YouTube red was announced a few days ago and promises to add 3 major features to the YouTube experience. The service which consts $10/mo will remove Ads on all videos, enable saving videos offline (unconfirmed if only on mobile) and background play on mobile. These are the same features that were being tested in the YouTube Music Key beta, earlier this year. Creators get a 55% cut of the revenue, which is the same as Ad revenue (and in my opinion WAAAY too high, but YouTube barely makes a profit anyway).

Many people have been critical of this telling other people to use Adblock (which is wrong in my opinion). There have also always been (unofficial) ways to save videos offline, however none of the current methods are build directly into the YouTube client. Background play has (obviously) always existed on desktop, however you can now do this on mobile. The primary use for this is podcasts and music videos (which is a massive part of the YouTube userbase).

Because of the low barrier to entry to the YouTube partner programme, the value of ads have been devalued massively, causing creator revenue to fall dramatically. There is literally millions of YouTube channels that have Ads on them, and the average ad price has fallen by a massive amount. Because of this, people use more Ads in their videos causing further devaluation.

Crowd-sourcing and direct fan funding has been growing and people are becoming more and more annoying with being bombarded with Ads. For the people who don't want to use Adblock, this provides a perfect middle ground to remove Ads, although this in reality isn't that many people. YouTube is also promoting new, premium content and along with their music service, it's aligning YouTube alongside both Spotify, Netflix and many other services, which along with Google Play Music (All Access) might provide enough value to the user to purchase. 

The problem with Adblock is a social problem, and I don't believe that it should be blocked but instead people should be educated on the problem with it. Adblock is (admittedly) important for websites that bombard users with Ads, and they deserve to lose revenue. YouTube is actually quite decent with their Ads, promoting good quality ads before videos.

YouTube Red is currently available in the US only, however I anticipate the quick roll out to other countries and I will personally pay for it. I have a massive problem with Adblock and YouTube Red allows me to remove Ads whilst still helping creators pay the bills.