YouTube is preparing to launch a subscription based ad-free service, allowing users to skip the 30-second videos and banner ads but still give something back to the content creators.
The last paid channel concept by YouTube involved paying a set amount for each channel, but none of the major channels decided to go through with the change. This time, it will offer a one-time monthly payment to get rid of all adverts.
Content creators will get a 45/55 split on revenue, similar to the numbers YouTube takes for advertising. We expect YouTube is tailoring the revenue to be on level with ad-revenue, meaning most YouTubers will be unaffected by the change.
YouTube is hoping the option will make some ad-blocker users choose the subscription route, as a way to not view ads. Ad-blocking tools take away all revenue from content creators and YouTube - but Google has not set up a system to block those tools.
Emails were sent out a few days ago detailing what is going to happen. YouTubers do not have much of a choice on the matter, either they accept or all videos will be put to private.
It is still not clear how much the subscription will cost, although multiple outlets are pinpointing £10 per month as the sweet spot. Sadly, even though the UK exchange rate should mean Americans are paying $15 per month, it is more likely to be $10 per in the US.
This is a different approach to Twitch.TV, where the streamer will have a $4.99 (£3.37) sub button. Subscribers typically do not need to watch ads and get access to chat emoticons. It is quite a successful move by Twitch, with some of the biggest streamers getting over 5,000 subscribers.
YouTube will launch its own subscription service sometime this year. It will fit in nicely with the new YouTube Music Key, allowing background music and playlists for £7.99.
Even though YouTube has become the bastion of video advertising, it is clear Google wants to give users the choice between freemium and paid content. If it doesn’t start to block ad-blocking tools though, it might mean little to the millions not paying anything for content and skipping all the ads.