Google has announced a subscription-based model for its YouTube service, dubbed YouTube Red. The service promises original, exclusive content by recognized YouTube stars including PewDiePie and Rooster Teeth among others. It also offers the ability to download and watch content offline, as well as access to YouTube Gaming and a new YouTube Music app. All content will be ad-free to subscribers.
At this point, YouTube Red is to be exclusively available to the US market, with the price set at $10 a month. The addition of YouTube Gaming and YouTube Music gives a multimedia appeal, and serves to set it apart from previously-established subscription-based streaming services like Netflix. Whether the exclusive content is worth the investment is the big question though, with some of the announced titles seeming rather uninspired.
The announced titles for YouTube Red include:
Scare PewDiePie – a reality adventure series as Felix reacts to situations inspired by his favourite games.
Sing it! – A comedy that satirises talent competitions
Lazer Team – A movie featuring four losers who find an alien ship carrying an strange cargo
A Trip to Unicorn Island – An in-depth look at the life of Lilly Singh as she embarks on a 26 city tour.
Single by 30 – a romantic drama about two high school friends who pledge to marry each other if they are still unwed at 30
Fight of the Living Dead – a reality show that puts popular YouTubers in a frightening zombie apocalypse to see how they cope
I Am Tobuscus – a comedy about a self-involved YouTube creator trying to be a big star
The YouTube Red exclusive content will be made available gradually beginning early next year. Non-paying YouTube users won’t be disrupted in any way, with the standard ad-based service continuing as normal. This marks the first time that YouTube will restrict content based on payment, so it’ll be interesting to see how this move is received.