YouTube Red was announced last week as a new membership option for YouTube users that enables them to skip the ads, save videos to watch offline and play videos in the background while using other apps, which is ideal if you're using YouTube to listen to music. The cost is $9.99 a month, though there's a free one-month trial available in the U.S.
While YouTube Red was announced last week, it actually became available in the U.S. on Wednesday.
"Your Red membership works anywhere you sign into YouTube, whether it’s across mobile devices, desktop, connected TVs, or on our recently launched Gaming app or our upcoming Music app," says senior product manager Matt Leske. "And as a special bonus, YouTube Red comes with Google Play Music, so subscribe to one and automatically get access to the other. Starting early next year, YouTube Red will get even better with access to new, original series and movies from some of your favorite creators."
YouTube says that as with its ad revenue, the majority of YouTube Red revenue will go back to the YouTube Creator community. According to the company, creators will make as much or more money on YouTube than they would have without YouTube Red. In fact, on a per-user basis, a paying member will generate more money for creators than a free user that sees ads.
"Creators are the lifeblood of YouTube," Leske says. "So with Google Play Music subscribers instantly joining YouTube Red, we will pay a portion of the revenue we receive from these subscribers to our creators on day 1. Even with 30 day free trials, our creator community will make as much or more as they would have without YouTube Red."
Creators aren't charged any new fees and their videos will still be part of YouTube Red regardless of whether or not they have memberships. Creators don't have to do anything differently whatsoever.
YouTube has a help center article with a YouTube Red FAQ section for partners and creators that should answer most of your questions. For those it doesn't, there's a help forum here.
Even before the launch of YouTube Red, YouTube was becoming a bigger generator of revenue for Google. The company talked this up a great deal during its earnings conference call last week.
YouTube executives recently indicated that they're not concerned about the similarity between the name YouTube Red and that of popular porn site RedTube.
Image via YouTube