Google is rolling its Play Music on-demand service into a new $9.99 subscription for ad-free viewing across all of YouTube that will launch October 28th in the US and globally soon. However, iOS users will be charged $12.99 to cover Apple’s in-app purchase tax.
YouTube Red will let folks in the US start watching all the movie trailers, phone reviews, music videos, epic fails, adorable babies, cat clips, and rants they’ve been consuming for years, without ads.
The $9.99 subscription will cover all of YouTube products, meaning YouTube, YouTube Gaming, YouTube Kids, and the newly announced YouTube Music. The new service will let you watch YouTube videos without ads, save videos to watch offline on a mobile device, and play videos in the background on a mobile device.
YouTube Red will split subscription revenue with the rights holders of content people consume through the service. YouTube managed to sign-on most of the independent creators, record labels, TV networks, and movie studios to the program. A YouTube exec told reporters at launch event that YouTube is paying out “the vast, vast majority of revenue”.
The subscription service changes things for YouTube creators, and anyone that doesn’t agree to the new subscription terms will have their content set to “private” on YouTube.
YouTube Red will also be the start of an original content push called “YouTube Red Original Series.” This YouTube-produced content will feature “new, original shows and movies from some of YouTube’s biggest creators.”
Unless, it turns out, you’re one of the early Play Music subscribers. Google is sending out emails to folks who hopped on board in the early summer of 2013 to inform them that when they are transferred to YouTube Red, they will get to keep their discounted $7.99 rate.
We don’t really know how this is going to change the average person’s YouTube experience, either. YouTube Red isn’t supposed to change how regular YouTube works, but that will remain a mystery until YouTube starts rolling out the exclusive content in January. (The ad-free part starts next week.)