YouTube Red: “Got Another $9.99?”
November 20, 2015

Looking to spend yet another $9.99 per month to listen to music? YouTube sure hopes so. On October 28, Google launched YouTube Red*, the newest must-have service in the already extensive and ever-growing list of music streaming apps.

For $9.99 monthly, YouTube Red offers you three features: no ads, offline viewing, and “switching between apps while still listening to music” (e.g. – something all other music apps provide free, and YouTube is mysteriously just now offering… if you pay them).

As a bonus, YouTube Red comes with a free subscription to Google’s pre-existing music streaming service Google Play (also a $9.99/mo. streaming service). Undoubtedly slated to be merged in the next year with YouTube Red, existing Google Play users get a “free” YouTube Red subscription.

So where do all the monthly proceeds go? Will each of the millions of content creators magically begin receiving royalties at long last? Will YouTube actually begin paying on the commercials they do run? Analytic and accounting reports are available as of November 10, which could help the fight for future payouts. (Remember, YouTube/Google are already profiting off your data.)

Increasing the odds of a mega-online-media merger, turns out Google is pursuing original video content as well. (Take that, Pandora/Spotify/Netflix!)

Add to that plot YouTube announcing last month it will have ten exclusive film projects available through the app next year, featuring work from big studios, YouTube stars, and indie newcomers.

YouTube’s says their original content is part of an initiative “to invest in the creativity of our top YouTube stars. We wanted to give them an opportunity to realize some of their long-held creative ambitions by developing new content for YouTube.”

Meanwhile, more and more viewers and listeners are shifting from broadcast to streaming performances each year in both visual and audio entertainment.

At the same time, current copyright and performance laws were set in place to protect artists date to the turn of the 20th century, and aren’t capable of keeping pace with modern day tech advances. Something’s got to change.

Additionally, as more monthly-payment, ad-free streaming services blossom, viewing content that was previously funded by advertisers is now coming directly from consumers. For free. Leaving less/no room for commercials and the people involved in them. (Like our MAM Family).

Not to mention, other smaller streaming services (smaller being non-gargantuan) are dying out. Rdio went bankrupt was just acquired by Pandora – though we’re still not totally clear what they plan to do with the assets other than as a part of their “ambitious plans” for their future.

YouTube Red doesn’t mark any major milestones: just another step paving the current direction the entertainment industry is headed.

But will people reach their limit before we get there? Between Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Netflix and Hulu, ‘just $9.99 more per month’ is beginning to add up, and with no major tech innovations to help pitch their new service.

Think they realize they’re beginning to out-price audiences and content-creators alike?


*YouTube Red is not related to RedTube. A YouTube spokesperson clarified:  “When we said Red would enhance the performance of YouTube, that’s not exactly what we had in mind.”

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