What is YouTube Red? Why Does it Matter?


This past week Google announced the long awaited YouTube Red. Red, as it’s called for short, is a subscriptions service for YouTube. I hear some of you going, “Isn’t YouTube free? Why do I need a subscription?” Well, I”m glad you asked! The subscription will allow you to watch original content and not have ads!

YouTube Red lets you enjoy videos across all of YouTube without ads, while also letting you save videos to watch offline on your phone or tablet and play videos in the background, all for $9.99 a month. Your membership extends across devices and anywhere you sign into YouTube, including our recently launched Gaming app and a brand new YouTube Music app we’re announcing today that will be available soon.

They have teamed up with some of the top YouTube creators to make shows for the service. At launch over 10 YouTube favorites will be releasing shows for the service. This is being billed as a way to support your favorite content providers. Let’s face it, no one, I MEAN NO ONE, likes the preroll on videos. If they are they are trying to sell preroll to someone. There have been very few ads I ever watched in their entirety on YouTube. Its always the first five seconds and click “Skip Ad” as fast as I can.

What will YouTube Red mean to you? First if you are a YouTube Partner you have to agree to the new terms of service of the subscription service. This may cause some issues if you have content deals with others. Tech Crunch has reported that ESPN has removed most of it’s videos due to broadcast contracts. There is no way to opt out of this for your brand. You must sign the deal to be on YouTube. If you fail to do so all the videos will be made private. If you are a smaller brand this really shouldn’t affect your videos.

Google has said that 99% of content users have come to expect will remain on the site. Most of the problems I have heard about the new service are conflicting rights with the new Terms of Service. Most of the self uploaded videos should still be there. Also don’t worry about music videos either. Google has a deal with Vivo to show these videos to people on the site.

What does this mean for the future of Video? It was an interesting change for Google. They have been very much in the free for all business model. Meaning that they offer you great services subsidized by advertising. This is true for search, Gmail and more. Part of me think this is to take on Netflix in the streaming services. Instead of running old content they want to run new content. The subscription will go to help support the subscribers. Google has claimed this will give content providers more money.

Conclusion: For most small businesses you should see no real problems with your videos on YouTube. Pretty much everything should be unchanged. There will be changes as this service is rolled out. If anything major changes I will keep you updated.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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