One of the biggest updates that we could have ever covered here is the new YouTube Red Subscription Program– paid subscription. And for those of you might not have heard about it last week, let me give you a quick rundown of what this is.

We’ve been talking about it here on this YouTube channel for a while, when YouTube is going to introduce paid subscriptions for you to do a few things.

Remove All Ads

One, you’re going to be able to remove all adds from across the entire website of YouTube.

Download Videos to Your Phone to Watch Later

Number two is you will be able to download videos to your phone to watch offline, at a later time.

Listen to Audio in the Background

And three, YouTube Red subscribers will also be able to listen to audio from videos in the background on their phones, while they multitask or do other things.

Access to Google Play Music Library & YouTube Music

Number four, it also gives you full and complete access to the Google Play Music library, and also to YouTube music– all of that for $9.99 US per month if you sign up If you sign up through the app, it’ll be $12.99.

And why is it called YouTube Red? Well during a Q and A interview, a YouTube executive said this. “Choosing a name for a product is a challenging thing… As we talked to users and fans in our studies, the term ‘red’ is often associated with YouTube. It has a lot of meaning in terms of love and the red carpet.”

Let me make a one thing super clear before we talk about the ways that this is going to change YouTube, and that is that this is not replacing the current ad supported revenue model that we know right now on YouTube. This is a completely optional program for viewers and creators to take a part of, if they want the perks that come with this $9.99 monthly fee, but if you don’t want to pay the fee, you can continue to experience YouTube exactly as you experience it now– minus some of the original content YouTube is making with some of the top stars here on this a platform that will be exclusively available only to Red subscribers. That it’s going to be a very small part of the pie. And if you want to see what some of those original series are that YouTube is creating, there’s a link in the description below this video here in YouTube. You can go see the whole lineup.

A final thing to make clear is for those of us who are creators here on YouTube, how much money do we stand to make as a result of this? And we’ve covered that in other videos here. I’ll put an annotation, or a card up here you can go click or something in the description below, as well. Potentially, creators could make up to 25 times more money through this model than we do through ad supported model. And again, the other videos around here will explain all the math behind that.

How exactly that money is divided, we don’t really know. They haven’t really told us. It seems very extremely likely that it is based on the amount of watch time, and probably session watch time, that your channel is accumulating and contributing to a viewer’s overall viewing session here on YouTube. It comes down to the more time people spend watching your videos on YouTube, the more of the pool of subscription money that will be headed your way.

After YouTube Red launches, you will be able to see inside your YouTube Analytics exactly how much money you are earning from YouTube Red subscribers. And you can see that simply by going to your Estimated Earnings. And in that report, you will see YouTube subscription earnings, which will reflect the amount of money that you are earning from YouTube Red.

So now that people can pay to remove ads, to download videos for a later viewing, to listen to your videos in the background on their phones, and a lot of other things, how’s that going to impact and influence YouTube going forward? Five big major ways. Number one– we’ve already kind of talked about this, but YouTube and creators both stand to make exponentially more money than they did before. Of course, it depends on how many people actually subscribe to YouTube Red.

I know I am as soon as I get my hands on that. To remove ads from YouTube for me would be a wonderful, considering the amount of time I spend on YouTube every day. And plus, I don’t currently have music subscriptions to Spotify, or iTunes Music, or anything like that, so that’ll be a little added bonus for me also.

How Much Money Will Be Actually Made?

Of course, how much money YouTube and creators make really depends on how many people sign up for the subscription program in the first place. And I am predicting that at the beginning, it’s probably going to be a smallish number of people, but I do think that YouTube is in this for the long haul. And in five years from now, I think it will just be is used to YouTube Red as we are to YouTube ads.

New Revenue Model

The second big way this is going to change YouTube is really interesting to me because Google’s revenue model has always been advertised. And this is one of the first times we see them departing from that model on a platform as big as YouTube. Like what’s next? They’re going to remove ads from if you pay there are also?

Why this really matters is that Google is effectively quarantining a group of their view inventory from ever seeing ads again. So from an advertiser’s perspective, how do they now reach this group of people, which is paying to be unreachable? There will be more brand deals, and more brand integration into creators’ actual videos. And I think creators will then be able to start charging more for them, but on the flip side, as more brands start to work with creators, will that negate one of the whole main reasons why we’re paying for YouTube Red in the first place?

Bidding and Demand For Ads Inventory

But kind of going along with that, a third way this is going to change YouTube, I think, in the long run, is it that as more people sign up for YouTube Red, again, that effectively shrinks the amount of view inventory that’s available for advertisers to bid on, which means that less inventory. Bidding and demand probably goes up, which means that the bidding is higher. And people are now getting higher CPM’s on their content than they were before. So whether you get a lot of views from Red subscribers– as I potentially will, given my audience– or you get a lot of views from non Red subscribers, you potentially have the ability to earn a lot more than you did before.

Growth of Long-form Content

Number four, with the ability to now download videos and play them in the background on your mobile device, I wonder what effect this is going to have on like a podcast type of content here on YouTube. Traditionally, it hasn’t really perform that well in the past, but I wonder if that’s going start to change now, and overall, what that means for long form content in general. I think it does open up a window– for those who do really nail the long form content on YouTube– to really make a killing off of this, if their audience really takes advantage of downloading and listening offline, and maybe even taking advantage of listening to that content on double speed.

Effect on View Count

And number five, I think you may also impact what we expect as far as how quickly our views get tallied to our videos because now someone can potentially download our videos. They have 30 days to watch it, and then once that device reconnects to the internet, then those views are counted back. So theoretically, someone could watch a video pretty quickly, but that view would not be counted for 30 days, or even longer.

So here’s the big question– what do you think about YouTube Red? Will you be signing up? And what do you think the implications are of how this is going to change YouTube, both for viewers and for creators?

I will put links to many other videos in the description of this video, here on YouTube, that go to other people who have talked about this that I found helpful for me. One of them is Hank Green. And he makes an interesting point about the math behind being supported through YouTube Red, versus be supported through patreon. Very good stuff. Also, if you want to see hands on of what YouTube Red looks like, and what the YouTube music app looks like, and some interviews with YouTube executives about YouTube Red, links to all those videos are down there as well, also.

I’m looking forward to reading all of your comments about this, and really digging into the discussion with you guys. So I’ll be checking those out there down below very shortly. And thanks for hanging out with us.

  • YouTube Red
  • YouTube Red Orginal Series and Movies
  • Hank Green: A Long Video About Paid YouTube
  • TheVerge Interviews YouTube Execs about YouTube Red
  • YouTube Red Exlusive First Hands On
  • YouTube Music Exclusive First Hands On