YouTube's taking big steps towards transforming itself into a media service that you pay for like you pay for Netflix. Fancy YouTube! Aren't you psyched?
So there are a bunch announcements today all centered around pulling American users into a new subscription service called YouTube Red. For $US10 a month, the service banishes ads, and allows people to save videos offline, and allows people to continue to listen to a YouTube video in the background on your phone.
This part launches in the US next week, but next year, a subscription will provide access to a vault of exclusive content. This includes some exclusive series and even full length motion pictures. On this front, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon have all proved that original content can be excellent.
New offerings from YouTube include a new scripted series from the Fine Brothers, and a hokey-as-shit looking movie called Unicorn Time. One smart aspect of the original content is that YouTube has chosen to invest in creators who came up on YouTube and have made their living on YouTube.
The new service will also cover the new YouTube Music app, which is launching today. The app seems to be an evolution of YouTube Music Key, the paid product launched last year. It basically turns YouTube into a Spotify clone, and allows you to listen to YouTube in the background. And it turns out that like YouTube Music Key, YouTube Red will get you access to Google Play Music, the excellent streaming music service that you should probably use.
The app looks like a pretty robust and fleshed out idea, with radio-like playlist features that will look familiar to anyone who has used a streaming service before. As before, you get offline and background playback.
YouTube Red sounds like a fantastic deal. People were willing to pay for Google Play Music alone, but with the new added YouTube features, it seems like a great option. Unfortunately there's no word on when, or if, it will hit Australia.