YouTube’s been researching and toying with the idea of an ad-free YouTube service that comes along with a subscription fee since last year, as they’re interested in providing users with a new way to consume content. The new service would give users the option to pay a monthly or even presumably an annual fee to get access to videos and channels without having to watch ads before videos, and it would also give YouTube a new way to gain some revenue. There have been openly voiced concerns about the details of the platform including concerns from content creators over the revenue, but amid these concerns new YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki has confirmed recently that they will be continuing ahead with the service.
Part of the concern is not just with revenue though. YouTube for the longest time has paid content creators from a portion of the revenue gained from ads. Some content creators have also placed their videos on other services exclusively though, which offer revenue based on subscription models, and this is where things start to potentially become difficult. Part of the new upcoming subscription model will require content creators to opt into both the ad-free and ad-supported platforms, so as to make things equal for viewers. As Wojcicki states, “It’s important that there is parity, meaning that all content that was on the ad-supported service is available for our users on subscription. It doesn’t make sense from a user perspective to pay and then get less.”
The exclusivity could pose a problem for those content creators which have their videos on both YouTube and another platform, as Wojcicki also mentioned that they would need to opt into both models. If they don’t, YouTube will end up pulling their videos from the ad-supported platform. Currently though it seems most of YouTube’s partners have already opted into the subscription model (it was rumored a while back that they were struggling to get partners on board) as well as they’re existing ad-supported model, a number which reaches about 90 percent of the content creators which they work with, while Wojcicki and the YouTube team continue to work with those remaining that haven’t. YouTube still hasn’t mentioned details on when the subscription service would go live.