Rumours surrounding a premium service option for the well-known video sharing website have been in circulation for years, beginning somewhere around the time that its music-focused streaming subscription, YouTube Music Key, was announced. However these are no longer just rumours, as users have noted that YouTube has been sending out emails to its prominent content creators regarding a change to the YouTube Partner Program terms of service that specifically illustrates an “ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee”.
“We are progressing according to plan to provide fans more options in how they enjoy content on YouTube. We have support from the overwhelming majority of our partners, with over 95 percent of YouTube watch-time covered by agreements, and more in the pipeline about to close.” said a YouTube rep in a statement.
The new subscription option is predicted to be $10 a month and would remove all paid advertising from the website while adding the current benefits of Google Play Music Unlimited, reports ReCode. A launch date has not yet been confirmed, but in the batch of messages sent to YouTube Partner Program members the channel owners were asked to agree to the new terms – which went into effect on June 15th – by October 22nd or else their monetized videos will be turned private until the agreement is accepted. This doesn’t necessarily mean the service will appear on October 22nd, but it seems likely, however YouTube has never been one to completely commit to a timeline. The website’s executives initially said they were aiming for a mid-summer launch when the idea of this new subscription service began solidifying last spring, so it’s quite possible that we won’t even see the launch until 2016.
ReCode’s Peter Kafka shared an email he received from the YouTube team explaining the situation.
“As you heard in our previous emails, we want to ensure that fans who choose to pay for an ads-free experience can watch all the same videos that are available on the ads-supported experience. That’s why we’re asking you to update your agreement to reflect the updated terms for the ads-free service. To accept, simply log into YouTube.com as [Your Username] from a desktop or laptop and follow the prompts by October 22nd. If you haven’t signed by that date, your videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States. And of course, at any time, you can accept the updated terms which will make your videos public and monetizable again.”
The ad-free subscription, which according to TheMarketBusiness will be called ‘YouTube Red’, is set to begin in the United States before spreading to other countries. How long that will take may depend on any potential legal issues concerning rights management.
The membership will not affect things like movie rentals, paid channels, or any other pay-to-view content, it simply removes ads. If the $10 projection is indeed accurate, it will also probably mean that Play Music Unlimited and YouTube Music Key will have their priced removed entirely or, at the least, discounted.