YouTube’s much anticipated ad-free paid subscription service “YouTube Red” has launched.
YouTube Red allows subscribers to watch videos without advertising for $10 a month. Subscribers can also download videos for viewing offline and play videos in the background while using other apps on their phones or tablets.
As part of the subscription debut, YouTube is also launching several original shows and movies with its content partners, including several L.A. media companies.
Walt Disney Co.-owned Maker Studios is producing “Scare PewDiePie,” a reality series about frightening YouTube comedian Felix Kjellberg; Fine Brothers Entertainment is producing a scripted comedy named “Sing It!” that satirizes singing competitions; and Fullscreen Inc.-owned Rooster Teeth is producing a feature-length action-comedy called “Lazer Team.”
The new subscription service is likely to attract a certain type of viewer, said Josh Kreitzman, vice president of publishing and programming for Jukin Media, a Culver City viral video firm that operates a multichannel YouTube network.
“The absolute most hardcore fans will sign on to get exclusive content from their favorite creators, and there will be a number of users who simply don’t like ads and have the means to opt in,” he said.
But as far as benefiting the wider industry of YouTube creators, Kreitzman said the broader effects won’t be felt for a while.
“I think the creators with new exclusive programming as part of the originals offering are most likely to benefit,” he said. “I don’t imagine it applies to a huge percentage of the creators on the platform, but they’ll likely add more over time.”
Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.