After YouTube confirmed work on a subscription service earlier this year, we now have further details of their plans.
The company sent out a mass email to content owners yesterday, again pushing them to agree to new license terms and imposing an October 22nd deadline. If content creators fail to agree to the new terms by this date then their “videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States”. This has led to speculation that the October 22nd will see the launch of YouTube’s subscription service.
The subscription package is said to include an updated Music Key service, which launched in beta last year, along with a, yet to be announced, new ad-free service which would allow viewers to watch any videos on YouTube ad-free.
Peter Kafka at re/code is reporting that his sources are stating a $10 monthly charge for the package. Being that competitors are charging the same price point for music-only services, YouTube might have a winner on its hands.
With online ads being hotly debated in recent months, it will be interesting to see how YouTube’s new service takes off. At $10/month for the combined services, it might just be appealing enough to entice viewers to commit to a subscription. However, at such a low price, it remains to be seen how profitable this will be for the company.
You can see the letter in its entirety below.
For years, YouTube’s fans have been telling us they want more — more choice when watching their favorite content, more ways to support their favorite creators and, above all, the option to watch their favorite videos uninterrupted.
To give fans more choice we will be launching a new ads-free version of YouTube, available to fans for a monthly fee. This service will create a new source of revenue over time that supplements your advertising revenue. That’s why an overwhelming majority of our partners — representing over 95% of YouTube watchtime — have asked for and signed up for this service.
As you heard in our previous emails, we want to ensure that fans who choose to pay for an ads-free experience can watch all the same videos that are available on the ads-supported experience. That’s why we’re asking you to update your agreement to reflect the updated terms for the ads-free service.
To accept, simply log into YouTube.com as “pakafka” from a desktop or laptop and follow the prompts by October 22nd.
If you haven’t signed by that date, your videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States. That outcome would be a loss for YouTube, a loss for the thriving presence you’ve built on the platform, and above all, a loss for your fans. We remain committed to working with you, as we always have. And of course, at any time, you can accept the updated terms which will make your videos public and monetizable again. Common FAQs can be found here.
We believe these new terms will greatly strengthen our partnership for the future. We went through a similar process three years ago when we began distributing and monetizing your content on mobile devices. Today, mobile represents over half of all watchtime and mobile revenue is up 2x in just the last year. Just as with mobile, we’re confident this latest update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you.
If you have questions or encounter technical difficulties, we’re here to help: reach out to us for support here.
The YouTube Team