YouTube has literally changed the way we use the Internet. The site, created out of a need for easy-to-navigate video sharing, has become a massive industry in and of itself, making fortunes for personalities who have found a home on the platform. But now, YouTube is getting ready to reverse its own longstanding policy of not charging for content with a two-tier membership system called YouTube Red.
Yesterday, executives from the site announced that they would begin a subscription service. For $9.99 a month, users will get to enjoy videos without ads — which until now has been the primary driver of profits for the site. It’s a bit like Hulu or Pandora, which have similar schemes in place. Basically, users willing to fork over a little dough the convenience of not sitting through a State Farm ad before enjoying a Beyonce video.
“People are embracing paid subscriptions for ad-free content at an incredible pace,” YouTube’s chief business officer said during the announcement. And while ad-revenue has been very good to YouTube, generating billions of dollars in profits each year, getting into the subscription game could make sense if users are unspeakably annoyed with the ads on videos.
But that’s not all paid members would get. YouTube is also going to begin producing original programming, which would only be available to subscribers. Again, it’s a Hulu move, creating a VIP section of sorts with extra content.
Along with original content by established YouTubers, like a show called Scare PewDiePie that’s being produced by the people behind The Walking Dead, they will have programming from Fox, NBC, and Time Warner.
You can sign up for Youtube Red here on October 28 when the platform launches.
(Image via YouTube)