YouTube is already the largest ad-supported video site in the world, according to Bloomberg. Recent developments suggest, however, that it’s increasingly focused on securing paying subscribers.
Noting previous failed efforts at establishing a premium platform, Motley Fool’s Rick Munarriz sees promise in YouTube Red, the $9.99 per month service that launched in October 2015. YouTube Red offers much of the same stuff available on YouTube for free, except sans ads and with a free digital music component. YouTube Red enhanced its exclusive library in February with the introduction of original content featuring popular YouTube personalities such as PewDiePie, Lilly Singh and Rooster Teeth. And now, according to BGR’s Chris Mills, YouTube Red has just sweetened the pot with an offer of a free Chromecast to new subscribers. For consumers who don’t own a Smart TV, Chromecast is a small plug-in that allows viewers to stream media from a computer, tablet, smartphone and other devices to a big flat screen. Learn more about Chromecast here.
Speculates Munarriz, “(I)f YouTube Red is gaining traction at $9.99 a month — the same price point as Netflix — it might eat into the seemingly insurmountable lead that Netflix has amassed over the years.” You can read his analysis at Motley Fool.
The Red channel isn’t YouTube’s only foray into premium services. In May, Bloomberg reported the Alphabet-owned company is planning another paid subscription service called Unplugged that would appear to replicate the cable and satellite bundling model, offering customers a package of channels streamed over the Internet. YouTube executives are said to be talking with major media companies like Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp.
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