YouTube to ditch ads, but for a cost

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 22 October 2015
Youtube Red

YouTube is set to roll-out its premium offering YouTube Red, which will see users pay to watch videos ad-free, as well as being able to store videos offline, and continuing to listen to content while switching between apps.

The membership service is rolling out in the US next week, and will set users back $USD9.99 a month for free content as long as they are logged in – another move by a global behemoth to extract our data.

The announcement of the membership also came with news that YouTube is also rolling out a music app, YouTube Music.

“YouTube Music is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever,” a blog post said.

“Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you.

“YouTube Red works with Google Play Music, so subscribes can automatically get access to the other.”

The announcement of Youtube Red also came the flurry of stories, and tweets, about the similarity of the name to a certain popular porn website, RedTube. Even adland's very own Todd Sampson got in on the action, tweeting: “WARNING slight branding problem! YouTube Red is not RedTube. I searched for one and surprisingly found the other. not good.”

While there is no current word on when the service will come to Australia, the move could see brands further focus their next wave of marketing on branded content rather than straight advertising, as we assume branded content and brands partnering with content creators will get past YouTube Red's “no ad” parameters.

One brand investing heavily in YouTube and its creators is computer firm HP. Darren Needham-Walker, head of marketing, printing and personal systems, HP South Pacific, told AdNews previously that the brand had a perception problem and working with millennial creators helped shift that.

HP has since worked with YouTube and creators Troye Sivan, Tyde Levi and SketchShe, to create a series of videos and content that has turned that perception around and the firm has increased its investment in YouTube by 50% year on year.
“The more we lean out to creators, the deeper the engagement we have,” Needham-Walker said.

“YouTube has enabled us to develop genuine relevance – it’s marketing gold."

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