YouTube ‘planning subscription video-on-demand service’
YouTube is reportedly planning to launch a subscription-based video-on-demand service, that will allow users to watch unlimited videos without ads for a set monthly fee.
The new service is said to be modelled on YouTube Music Key, which launched in beta in November 2014, and allows users to watch and listen to music videos without ads for £9.99 a month.
Music Key also offers additional features like the ability to compile playlists, download music videos for playing offline, and discover music from artists based on their musical tastes.
According to a report in Variety magazine, an executive at one of YouTube’s content creation partners was approached about getting on board with the new subscription service late last year.
However, the partner was reportedly warned that if it didn’t agree to the terms of the subscription service, it would be excluded from any future ad revenue.
This is the same tactic that YouTube reportedly used to deal with independent music companies that refused to get onboard with Music Key.
The launch of YouTube Music Key was delayed while Google negotiated with rights agency Merlin to license music from the thousands of independent record labels it represents.
In launching a subscription service, YouTube will be going up against established video-on-demand services such as Hulu, Vimeo and Netflix, some of which offer exclusive content and paid ad-free viewing options.
YouTube recently announced a raft of updates to its ‘creator’ tools, such as ‘YouTube Creator Studio’, ‘Audio Library’ and ‘Fan Funding’. However, some creators still claim it is difficult to make money on the platform.