Youtube Starting a Paid Service?

I recently got an email for my Youtube Partner Status that it might be updated. In the message it stated that Youtube would be implementing a monthly paid service so that it would be ad-free. While this is not unheard of (Netflix is the obvious example) it is rather baffling.

Youtube has always been free, without a commitment and adding in something that you have to pay for might not work out as well as they might think. I do understand that they are a business and want to make money so this is a logical step, I am just not sure how well it will work out for them.

To be fair, the last couple years Youtube has failed to turn a profit and is basically breaking even. Adding in an extra pay method might actually help them become a profitable company in the long run. As always, if you want to comment on everything and tell me that I am wrong, go ahead!

Here’s the full email.

Dear YouTube Partner,

Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we’ve taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we’ve seen tremendous engagement. And we’ve seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience— it’s already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month.

We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue.

So what’s next?

Launching a new paid offering will require us to update your terms through your Creator Studio Dashboard—a process that should feel familiar to anyone who 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 200% in the last year. Just as with mobile, we’re confident this latest contract update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you. Please look out for our notification, review it and let us know your thoughts.

It’s an exciting year for YouTube, as we push ourselves into uncharted territories. But we continue to be guided by a desire to deliver the choices fans want and the revenue you need. By working closely with you, we know it’ll be a successful journey.

The YouTube Team