No, YouTube isn’t angry. YouTube Red is their spin-off service that allows paid subscribers to watch videos without ads, download videos for watching offline for upto 30 days and lets you listen to videos with the screen off. They call this, “background play”.

Unless I’m missing something obvious, “background play” isn’t exactly revolutionary – closing your eyes would have a similar result!

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Here’s what CNet’s Sarah Mitroff thinks about it.

Currently it’s only available in the US and it’s $9.99 per month, which equates to around £6.50. There are suggestions that it may be rolled out more widely soon, if it’s well received.

Vanity Fair thinks YouTube may ruin itself with this step-change. You can read their report here.

The big-guns at YouTube say that it’s bringing a whole new user-experience to its fans. One aspect they may have missed is that although people tend to say they don’t like the adverts, in practice they’ll either skip or, if the content is interesting/entertaining enough, watch it anyway. Some of the best videos I’ve seen on YouTube have been commercials, most frequently delivered on a pre-roll.

Gizmodo tech expert commentator, Adam Clark Estes thinks there’s lots of confusion about what YouTube Red delivers and who’s going to benefit most.

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With a billion visits each month, YouTube won’t need many of its followers to take up the option in order to bag another very substantial boost to its revenues.

Perhaps YouTube Red is conceived to break down the power of the successful content creators?

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine has a slightly different take on it here.

With an ever-increasing music-fan base turning to YouTube to listen to their favourite tracks, how will it deal with licencing, royalties, copyrights and ensuring artists are paid properly?

Has there been some mission-creep here? YouTube could become a complete on-demand platform for music. If so, it could be Apple Music and Spotify that see Red!

If you’ve used YouTube for promotional or marketing activity I’d be really interested to hear what you think and if you’d like to discuss it further you can click here to message me or give me a call on 07788 436400.

YouTube Sees Red – Credits and Links

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