YouTube Red offers features that greatly appeal to some, but is it right for you?
In the world of online streaming, the choices are endless. As far as cable TV alternatives go we have services like Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV. For music we have services like Spotify, Pandora, and Songza. But noticeably absent from this media melee has been tech behemoth Google; but that is slowly changing.
Late last October, tech behemoth Google launched a premium version of its YouTube app. Dubbed YouTube Red, the app is Google’s latest attempt at expanding its revenue base and stepping into the premium streaming market by offering exclusive and premium content for the monthly rate of $10; and they offer a 1-month free trial.
On its face, the idea of YouTube Red seems a bit redundant. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free right? Well, Google has taken the time to pack a lot of features into YouTube Red meant to entice you from making the switch; and today we’re going to take a look at some of them.
YouTube Red Background Listening
Let’s get started with the #1 feature every YouTube user has wanted since the first app launched: background listening. Background listening allows you to play videos (music for most) in the background while you browse other sites or even simply let your screen go on standby. You can finally find your favorite artists on YouTube and listen to their newest album without having to worry about your batter life draining or the fear of accidentally clicking something while the video plays. For many users, this feature alone might warrant YouTube Red’s $10 a month.
*** Note – some do complain about different mobile devices not working as expected. Click here to read the YouTube Red forum.
Ad Free Music and Videos
YouTube Red subscribers will also be free of advertising of any kind. No banners, popups, or video interruptions. You also get free access to YouTube Music, which is an app specialized to filter out non-music related videos; making it easier to find relevant content.
Another long desired feature of YouTube is the ability to watch and download videos for offline play. For the most part YouTube has resisted it, but with YouTube Red you’ll be able to download videos for 30 days ad-free. You can’t keep it forever, but you can always re-download something; so there’s little loss.
Aside from long awaited YouTube features, Google is also hard at work to line up exclusive content for YouTube Red. In the future, Google plans to to launch both television shows and movies exclusively for YouTube Red; many of which will be produced by YouTube stars themselves.
**** If you love action sports, make sure you also read “YouTube’s GoPro Channel is a Cord Cutting Adrenaline Junkie’s Best Friend“
Not too much has been announced thus far, but one title we do know about is: “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” a documentary that follows YouTube star IISuperwomanII on her world tour.
Future of YouTube
Now for those of you concerned that YouTube might go completely premium in the future, have no fear. Google has no plans on changing how YouTube operates now and has no reason to in the near future. Currently, Google is projecting billions of dollars in profit from YouTube Red and that’s being conservative.
According to Quartz, companies like Spotify have approximately 25 percent premium users and 75 percent free users. Google has conservatively projected that only 3 percent of YouTube’s 1 billion users will make the switch; generating quite a hefty sum for the tech giant. So don’t worry, Google won’t cannibalize YouTube any time soon.
YouTube Red may not be for everyone, but it is certainly a unique way forward in the cord cutting market. But as time goes on, it would not be too farfetched to see this service going from unique to nearly essential.