Thursday, October 22, 2015

YouTube Red is Google's answer to Netflix and Spotify

For months (years?) there's been rumors about a paid subscription YouTube service, and finally here it is: YouTube Red, that gives you ad-free videos and access to exclusive content and features for $9.99 per month.

Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular by the day (we finally got Netflix in Portugal), and YouTube Red is Google's answer to those, offering a paid subscription mode that is presented as being a way for users to contribute to their favorite creators as well as having exclusive features (ad-free video viewing, offline video and background play) and access to exclusive content. It also includes access to Google Play Music, and that means it ends up being a sort of Netflix+Spotify "2-in-1" package.

Sure, YouTube Red content is nothing like Netflix's but that may change in the future, as YouTube is gearing up lots of exclusive YouTube programs for the coming months including a program called "Scare PewDiePie" which joing the most popular YouTube video creator with The Walking Dead series producers.

But, not everything is fine with everyone. Google is once again being accused of bullying YouTuve creators to join Red; or else, they'll have their videos removed from the free youTube service as well -  and then there's the issue that this content fragmentation means people will have to face "having" to pay for an ever growing number of monthly services (Netflix, Spotify, YouTube Red, etc.) Though no one is forced to do so, the likelihood of such fragmentation pushing users to opt for illegal content (for free) is much more likely than feeling the need to pay, and pay, and pay.

... Maybe a few years from now these platforms will figure out they'd have a lot more to gain if they'd work along with each other and not against one another.

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