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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

YouTube is about to charge $10 a month to get rid of ads

And the new service, called Red, is coming to Ireland “soon.”

youtubered Source: YouTube Spotlight via YouTube

YOUTUBE IS LAUNCHING a subscription plan in America called Red, that combines ad-free videos, new original series and movies from top YouTubers like PewDiePie, as well as on-demand unlimited streaming music for $10 a month.

Red builds on Google’s existing music streaming service by providing ad-free access to YouTube programming, and allowing subscribers to download videos on to mobile devices and have music playing in the background while using other mobile apps.

Current subscribers to the $10-a-month Google Play Music service will also get access to Red.

It’s not clear when the new service will be available in Ireland.

A spokesperson for YouTube did not immediately respond to TheJournal.ie‘s enquiry, but according to a press release today, the company is working to take Red beyond the US “soon.”

Red targets YouTube fans who want to skip ads, while giving them a chance to pass along some cash to their favourite video creators, who’ll share in the new revenues.

It comes as streaming services like Hulu, Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn offer ad-free as a paid option.

The plan, which launches on 28 October, includes exclusive access to new videos launching next year, as well as the YouTube Music Key service for music videos, which will be called YouTube Music going forward.

The original videos will range in length from a few minutes to feature-length movies and come from established YouTube stars.

A subscription will eliminate ads from all YouTube services across devices and platforms except for the YouTube Kids app, which is operated separately.

YouTube still intends for advertising revenue to remain its core business, and executives say they believe it could take a while for paid subscribers to grow significantly, but consumer appetite for ad-free experiences is booming.

Source: YouTube Spotlight/YouTube

Ad-blocking software has become popular on personal computers, and Apple’s iOS 9 operating system update last month allowed ad-blocker apps to run on its mobile Safari browser for the first time.

Worldwide usage of ad blockers rose 41 percent last year to nearly 200 million people, according to PageFair, a firm that seeks to counter ad blockers.

And yet content providers are finding a way to make money from eliminating ads, too.

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Internet radio giant Pandora Media Inc. made $54.6 million on subscription and other revenue in the quarter up to June, mainly from its $5 a month ad-free plan, Pandora One.

Its subscription revenue is growing faster than ad revenue itself.

Hulu launched a “No Commercials” plan in September for $4 more per month than its normal $8 subscription, and TuneIn added a premium tier for $8 a month in August that throws ad-free music together with audio books and sports coverage.

Red could help boost the ranks of Google Play music subscribers, which stood at around 815,000 in the U.S. at the end of last December, according to royalty tracking firm Audiam.

That’s far short of leader Spotify with 20 million paying subscribers globally.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told a technology conference this week that Apple Music has 6.5 million paying subscribers and millions more still on free trials following its launch at the end of June.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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Dan MacGuill

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