Following months of anticipation, YouTube has finally taken the lid off its ad-free, subscription service that the company has dubbed YouTube Red.
Launching October 28 for $9.99 per month on Android devices (and $12.99 on iOS,) YouTube Red enables viewers to watch videos uninterrupted by ads. On mobile, the service also lets users play videos in the background while using other apps, as well as save videos offline for future viewing.
The service will launch with a month-long free trial. Available exclusively in the U.S., it will roll out globally in 2016.
YouTube Red is a membership tier that spans across all of YouTube’s apps, including its Gaming vertical, as well as YouTube Music — a service that had been in beta but will be available soon, according to the company.
YouTube Music will also be available as a free, ad-supported app, but a YouTube Red subscription will disable ads and enable background and offline viewing features.
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In fact, the idea for YouTube Red was born of experiments with YouTube Music, the company said in a press release. “A key learning was that [fans] didn’t want to use these features on just music — they wanted to use them across all of YouTube.”
While YouTube insists that the “version of YouTube we all know and love isn’t going anywhere,” it is making a serious push to woo audiences over to the new offering. Following a rather vague announcement last year that it would fund new content from top creators, the company announced today that these shows and series will debut exclusively on YouTube Red early next year.
The slate of 10 original programs includes Scare PewDiePie, a reality-adventure series starring YouTube's most-subscribed creator; a feature-length documentary about the YouTuber Lilly Singh entitled A Trip to Unicorn Island; and an as-yet-untitled murder mystery starring Joey Graceffa.
YouTube declined to specify how revenue distribution will work without ads, but said that it would be “paying out the majority of revenue to our partners.”
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