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Would you pay to avoid Youtube ads? You may get the choice soon

YouTube is working on an ad-free subscription service, which would allow users to avoid ads for a set fee.

Image: Yui Mok

YOUTUBE IS WORKING on a paid-subscription service for the site, which would allow users to watch videos without seeing any ads.

The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, said at the Code Mobile conference that it was thinking about “how to give users options” and that it was noticing a model where consumers would either choose ads, or pay a fee.

“YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users,” said Wojcicki. ”But there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads.”

If YouTube goes down this route, it will follow the same format as Spotify where users can either listen to a version with ads, or pay for the premium version and remove them entirely. It could mean that the rate of ads on the free service would increase, to encourage people to pay for the subscription service.

Although YouTube already has a subscription service of sorts. Last year, it allowed certain channels like Sesame Street and the UFC to sell subscriptions to their videos, usually allowing users to view full episodes.

Wojcicki also revealed that half of all YouTube views now come from mobile devices and that time spent watching videos is growing at a rate of 50% year-on-year, although she mentioned that this doesn’t come close to matching the average amount of time people spend watching TV every day.

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When asked about whether it was working on other subscription services, mainly its rumoured YouTube music service, Wojcicki said she was “optimistic about seeing it soon” but didn’t specify whether it would arrive this year.

First published 28 October, 8.10am

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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