Understanding YouTube Red: Paid Subscriptions and the Future of Online Video

Understanding YouTube Red: Paid Subscriptions and the Future of Online Video

In which John discusses YouTube’s new paid subscription service, YouTube Red. Is it good for creators? Is it good for viewers? And what are the risks and benefits of advertising models vs. subscription models?

Crash Course’s Patreon: http://patreon.com/crashcourse
DFTBA Merch: http://dftba.com
YouTube Red: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2015/10/red.html
Emily Nussbaum’s Essay about What Advertising Does to TV: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/12/the-price-is-right-emily-nussbaum
An overview of some research on how advertising affects us: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201008/what-does-advertising-do

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20 Responses

  1. L. T C. says:

    This sounds like a really bad idea a poor man rich man divide couldn’t they
    have made it a spin off website.

  2. Jonas Kaufman says:

    For people like me who watch and enjoy a variety of YT creators Red gives
    me the opportunity support all of them albeit it in a small way. Whereas
    with Pateron or other platforms it would take more out of my pocket.

    Also, 10.00 per month is not a great deal of money. It’s two Starbucks
    coffees a month. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of money I think it’s a
    good value.

    I realize for Vlogbothers, because your videos are so short it’s harder to
    make money from them with YTR.

    Also, if I have to pay for Netflix to get their exclusive content then I
    don’t have an issue paying for YTR. Not that this Pewdiepie show sounds
    like I’d watch it anyways… But it doesn’t bother me.

  3. Lexie Butterworth says:

    Please don’t put any of your videos on YouTube red. Please don’t do this
    with any of your channels

  4. Joan XW Chen says:

    If CRASHCOURSE moves to YoutubeRED, I would be vastly dissapointed with
    vlogbrothers. crahscourse is fantastic in educating many people. The thing
    about youtube red is that it creates this exclusivity instead of
    inclusitivity – People who can pay vs People who can’t. Youtube is supposed
    to be a creative space where ideas are shared and people are free to tap on
    those fantastic viewpoints. I’d much rather sit through minor painful
    advertising than pay. AND DON’T FORGET, popular youtubers (even with just a
    few hundred thousand subscribers) earn big bucks. Support? Please.

    It makes me almost upset and angry. Viewers are not limited to US/UK. And
    what may be $10 in the US, is a lot of money in other countries.

    Dissapointed that Pewdiepie and iSuperwoman are involved in this

  5. Lucy Collina says:

    I think it would not be good for marking shows that will be good and have
    high production quality but only let thous who can pay watch. YouTube is a
    community that need to let everyone be on a level playing field.

  6. Reese Eifler says:

    confusing jump cuts, not helpful, please redo

  7. Andrew Lee says:

    When you compare YTR to cable, I don’t think I know what you mean. Cable TV
    is a medium where the audience pays a subscription to the providers who
    then advertise to (at?) their viewers. I too (if this is the case) hope
    that YTR doesn’t become like cable.
    I dislike the idea of exclusives, because it means that a revenue stream is
    taken away from the creators, as well as exposure. Some creators are
    uncomfortable with asking for money through patreon, and/or their creative
    strengths aren’t suited to merch.
    I do think that YTR is going to be a worthwhile service, as Google Play
    Music is already a great deal without the ad-free Youtube experience.

  8. thestalkinghead says:

    tabletop was paid for by many but is free for all to watch, youtube red is
    elitist and will certainly create class differences

  9. Paola Cucurullo says:

    This is pretty much a summarized version of the Hankschannel video haha

  10. FreakingThomas7 says:

    I just hope this doesn’t begin an evil shift for YouTube to switch to
    completely paid service in the next 5-10 years. Otherwise, I don’t mind.
    This could become a good avenue for some creators to increase revenue.

  11. Anas Khan says:

    It’s sort of like a music subscription too. Consider how much you pay for

  12. Michelle A says:

    I’d prefer you not to do a show sponsored by YouTube Red. It feels elitist
    and contrary to your (or what I perceive as your) values and the values of
    Nerdfighteria. If you want to do something cool that costs money, maybe try
    a Kickstarter or something?

  13. MonkeysEatPie1 says:

    I’d be scared. As a high school student with one parent out of work and the
    other parent working two jobs that don’t pay well, I’d have no way of
    paying for these subscriptions (I’m 17 and I’ve already had two jobs within
    the last two years. I’ve had to leave both in order to focus on my
    education as it’s my senior year) and I feel like, as you said, YouTube may
    begin to divide into class systems. I also just don’t want to miss out on
    new videos from my favorite creators.

  14. eligirl100 says:

    So how is that gonna effect the viewership in developing countries?

  15. McJaews says:

    Disclaimer: What I state in this comment is based solely on the information
    I’ve been given so far, and is subject to change as new information becomes

    I prefer the idea of a “YouTube Premium” to a YouTube with ads as its sole
    source of income. A lot of content creators have embraced the fact that
    more and more users have some sort of adblocker, keeping those delicious
    adSense money from coming in, and have started making private sponsor deals
    with companies like Amazon, DraftKings, LootCrate, etc. This if of course
    their prerogative, as is using Patreon and Vessel as further sources of
    income. Content creation has become a full time job for at lot of people,
    and for a long time it’s been a job fraught with inconsistencies and
    insecurity (just like a a lot of other internet ventures), and I’d rather
    have YouTube Red be a way of normalizing the “industry” than have the
    bubble suddenly burst, with a lot of people forced to quit producing
    content, because of diminishing ad revenue or inability to gather sponsors.
    Small fry youtubers (the kind who cannot use youtube as a sole source of
    income) are possibly not going to be hugely affected by this, with some
    maybe even getting a small increase in income, if they are the type who
    create long videos with low views. Huge youtubers who make enough in a week
    or less to pay their rent and food for a month, are probably not going to
    suffer because of this either.
    I can only speculate, but so far nothing points to this new system
    affecting content creators negatively in a huge way, apart from their
    content being even more obscured by the increase of promoted big time
    content of YouTube Red.
    One thing I’m sure of however, is that the subscription price is set to
    allow a continuation of the status quo for the content creators, while also
    sending some money the way of Google/Youtube/Alphabet to make up for the
    lost ad revenue they’ve seen since the advent of ad blockers.

    TL;DR, it probably won’t be the end of the world, but will most likely
    serve as a balancing tool for the mother company, as well as a means of
    making Youtube the prime provider of audio-visual media in the world.
    Youtube wants to be the only place you’ll want to go for media consumption,
    and this is a pretty important step towards that. Think of it as a

  16. TheDraconifors says:

    Scared. Genuinely terrified. It would make me so sad if I wasn’t able to
    watch your (or other peoples’) content just because I wasn’t able or
    willing to pay for something that has always been (and I think always
    should be) free.

  17. MihailoSavic says:

    YouTube Red will automatically have shows for a less international
    community and a more “western centric” community due to higher per capita
    income. I do not believe that YouTube Red will be similar to our good old
    YouTube vanilla. However, this change should have no affect on current
    YouTube. The only thing that may change are the creators who will now have
    new incentives. In the end it will come down to them and their choice as to
    which community they will care for more.

  18. Eostre says:

    To me this is a step in the wrong direction. I’d rather support the
    channels I love and think add something in the world through websites like
    Patreon. In the end it costs more, but knowing it actually goes to the
    creator and their projects is what I prefer. Besides my personal preference
    of supporting creators this will create even more clickbait and turn
    YouTube into TV. I’ve seen channels go through other sites that if you pay
    you’ll receive videos early and bonus content. I find this ridiculous
    especially in the YouTube community due to this site being all about making
    people feel included. If only a portion of your viewers can only see a
    portion of your videos for reasons outside of their control is damaging to
    their own communities. Essential treating those who can pay money better
    over those who can’t. The channels that went that route with other sites I
    stopped watching period. I understand creators need to make a living and
    fund future projects, but this isn’t the way to go.

  19. amandalovescookies says:

    I disagree with YouTube Red in its entirety. This is not how it was meant
    to be! YouTube is by the people, for the people. It was never supposed to
    be about money. Now it’s becoming just another sellout. I am infinitely
    disappointed. If its really bad I am leaving YouTube. Or unsubbing anybody
    who makes exclusive content.

  20. Katherine Russell says:

    Youtube Red scares me becomes it makes me worry that one day I won’t be
    able to watch the shows I love