[RED ALERT] Would You Pay for YouTube?

Category: Video

I received an unexpected email from Google recently, asking me to “Try 3 months of YouTube Red for 99 cents.” My first reaction was, “Why would anyone pay anything for YouTube, regardless of its color?” I went delving for an answer to that question; here is what I found...

What is YouTube Red?

YouTube Red is a subscription-based streaming video service from YouTube. It promises more content of higher quality and interest, faster and without interruptions, and “no ads.” It also provides background and offline playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices, and ad-free music streaming.

The “no ads” part is the big attention-getter so far, in my opinion. But right away I wondered if the "higher quality" part of the offering might exclude Youtube classics such "Dumb Kid Falls Off Skateboard" and "Girl Throws Up on Rollercoaster." I couldn't find answer to that, but I did learn more about what YouTube Red does offer.

“Major content providers” have agreed to provide original content exclusively to YouTube Red subscribers, according to Google. Don’t expect Paramount, Universal, or other big Hollywood producers; we’re talking about major YouTube content producers such as PewDiePie, a Swedish comedian who has a following of nearly 45 million YouTube fans. He’s not for everyone, including me. Other original series and feature-length videos include titles such as “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” “I Am Tubuscus,” and “Bad Internet,” a comedy series about a future dystopian society caused by a BuzzFeed quiz.

Why Pay for Youtube Red?

Monthly subscription rates for YouTube Red are $9.99 for everyone except iOS device users, who are charged $12.99. That’s because YouTube Red for iOS is sold through the Apple App Store, as every app for iOS must be. Apple takes a 30% cut of Store sales, and Google is passing on that cost to iOS subscribers. Apple device owners are supposed to buy apps only through the App Store, but many buy YouTube Red directly from YouTube at the lower price.

Well, maybe not “many” are buying YouTube Red. Subscriptions have been offered only since October, 2015, but already Google feels it’s necessary to sweeten the deal. First, there’s the 3-months-for-99-cents offer that I received. Second, selected YouTube Red subscribers are receiving other emails offering them a free Chromecast streaming dongle. (retail price $35). I described the new Chromecast dongle in “Apple TV vs. Chromecast” last December.

Is Ad-Free YouTube Worth Paying For?

Who receives a Chromecast offer and how they are chosen are deep, dark secrets, for some reason. But even if you don’t win a Chromecast, less than a buck to test-drive YouTube Red is not much of a stumbling block.

Yet I still can’t bring myself to try YouTube Red. I have mass quantities of high-quality, commercial free video available to me already, more than I could consume in a dozen lifetimes. So far, I don’t see any compelling - or even mildly motivating - reason to subscribe to YouTube for $10 a month.

When I do get a hankering to watch "People Getting Hurt Doing Stupid Things" or relive the memory of "Cats Getting Scared by Cucumbers," I'll wait a few seconds for the ad to finish before the fun begins. I'm not saying there's nothing worth watching on YouTube. I've learned a lot by watching various "how to" and "do it yourself" videos. I'm just not that bothered by having to watch a quick sponsor message. Your streaming addiction may vary.

Will you try YouTube Red? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "[RED ALERT] Would You Pay for YouTube?"

(See all 66 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Denis
23 Jun 2016

No! I wouldn't subscribe to this.
I know that having You Tube costs, and that is why the Ads, and I am happy enough to have the YouTube content available that the Ads don't bother me. As Nigel said, the Ads are often relevant to the content and sometimes are of interest (Admittedly not often). I use a download manager program to capture stuff that I want to view offline and that only collects the content and not the ads. Better still the content doesn't expire when I get it that way.


Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
23 Jun 2016

No way! I watch You Tube for how-to videos and the occasional music video. Can't justify paying for it.


Posted by:

Julie
23 Jun 2016

I don't have ads when I watch YouTube on my pc, but I do on my "smart" tv. Solution: I don't watch YouTube on the television. Saves me $10/month!


Posted by:

Julie
23 Jun 2016

I just double-checked on my pc...no ads...I use AdBlockerPlus. Maybe that is why no ads on the pc but ads on the "smart" tv?!


Posted by:

cal67
23 Jun 2016

Pricing similar to Netflix? Not on your life. If it was 99 cents per month I might bite but even that's not certain.


Posted by:

Monte Crooks
24 Jun 2016

It takes so long to filter my way through all the trash on YT (ads included), that YT should be paying me to watch it, even for free on my part. I do find interesting content at times (certainly not all the time) and I've even found a couple of "keepers" there as well. That said, I won't be subscribing to YT or any other streaming anything. $10 per year would be a stretch for me. Just saying. Oh, and THANK YOU, BOB for another informative e-mail!!


Posted by:

Bill
24 Jun 2016

Why would you pay ANYTHING for something that is free? If it ever becomes NOT free I think I would go start another YOUBOOB that will be free!


Posted by:

JAB
24 Jun 2016

NO!!!!!!


Posted by:

Therrito
24 Jun 2016

Absolutely not! AdBlockPlus does an outstanding job of blocking Youtube ads and it's free.

They can keep their Youtube Red and stick it in their floppy drive.


Posted by:

Gary
24 Jun 2016

NO!!! Sounds like an answer to a question nobody asked. It's free because of ads and that works just fine, Vielen danke!!


Posted by:

Carol Hetzel
24 Jun 2016

No, no and another no, I love my movie channels on cable, hard enough paying for premium entertainment, but once you start paying for anything that was once free, they'll just get greedier.


Posted by:

Jay R
24 Jun 2016

Better dead than red. I need this like a bad case of inguinal tinea cruris. Perhaps if EweTube didn't have all those cat videos and got some of cute sheep, I would consider it.----For a second or two. I wonder how many other First World Problems are out there that I know nothing about? Love your stuff, Bob. Thank you.


Posted by:

Renee
24 Jun 2016

I don't like commercials when paying a subscription - it is like the cable industry


Posted by:

CtPaul
24 Jun 2016

I primarily use You Tube to watch old music videos. I'm not sure that I want to add another bill, no matter how small, to the automatic deductions to my checking account.


Posted by:

Bob Greene
24 Jun 2016

The problem with ads-- any ads-- is they too often abuse the privilege of display on the screen. Pushing the ad envelope occurs in stages. First, it's an enjoyable, humorous 10-second ad, but that somehow devolves into an interminable 20-second or even 30-second ad.

At that point, the YouTube channel becomes a bother, and fewer people watch. For all intents and purposes, that channel is dead, and even YouTube requires a sustained level of interest to continue hosting.

The current FIAT commercial ("I can make your hands clap") is too good to watch only once, so I don't mind repetition-- at least, so far. The older Fiat "Viagra" commercial quickly wore out its welcome-- probably not enough lively music to sustain interest.


Posted by:

GrannyM
24 Jun 2016

Don't mind the ads enough to justify an extra $10 a month. Besides there's some mom/pop/granny/teen out there making a penny a day on me so what the heck, let them earn their pennies and keep it free for the rest of us!


Posted by:

Pat C.
26 Jun 2016

I don't think so. As a fatter of mact - no way, Pedro! I go to Youtube to download videos from various guys who show me, note for note with all the fingerings, on a six-banger gitfiddle so I can play some of those old classic rock songs I grew up. Fer instance - Pink Floyds 'Wish You Were Here' or The Eagles 'Peaceful Easy Feeling'. They can stick those cute cat videos and the idiots doing stupid stuff up their ... noses. My woman likes to watch movies on her laptop. Ok by me.


Posted by:

noseitall
27 Jun 2016

It had better be really good for that price.


Posted by:

Lionmax
27 Jun 2016

Yes. I don't mind paying. I live on YouTube. I get music in whatever language I like. I get news and educational documentaries and religious music and other programming. BTW, I do not have cable TV. I have Netflix but find myself living on YouTube.


Posted by:

daveewing
30 Jun 2016

I tried the red and found it very worth while. No commercials better categorization of my interests, etc. . Dump your sat/cable fees and go Red, very recomendable!


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