Would you pay for YouTube? Video site launches subscription service

Posted on October 23, 2015


The internet’s premier repository for videos, YouTube, has announced that it will offer a pay-per-month subscription service.

Available in America for now, YouTube Red will be priced at £6.50 per month. This not only allows users to access content from some of YouTube’s biggest names, but also allows users to have an advertisement-free experience.

Some of the people involved include PewDiePie, whose Let’s Play commentaries have more subscribers than any other channel on the site, Rooster Teeth, most famous for its Red vs. Blue show based on video game Halo, and personality Lilly Singh.

As high profile as the names involved are, some analysts predict that it will be difficult for YouTube to get users to commit to a monthly fee, especially after having become used to accessing free content.

Brian Blau, an analyst with American IT research firm Gartner, said:

“It’s great to see YouTube offer an alternative to an ad-only model. Consumers want choice and options.

“But pay walls haven’t always done well and uptake depends on how users balance the attractiveness of the exclusive content and the pain of sitting through lots of ads.”

Enders Analysis spokesman Ian Maude thinks that the number of subscribers will be relative small, but may earn enough money to justify parent company Google getting into the “high-quality, high production value game”.

He also speculated that YouTube may be taking its cue from streaming site Netflix, which uses the money it generates from showing content licenced from other networks to produce high-quality shows of its own, such as House of Cards and Daredevil.

Users in the US will be able to sign on for a month-long free trial from 28th October, but the dates and prices for YouTube Red’s international roll out will be announced shortly.

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