Sick and tired of facing pre-roll ads on all the videos you watch on YouTube? Soon, the company will allow users to pay a subscription fee for access to ad-free video across the whole site, and share some of that wealth with channel operators.
YouTube partners (video makers who sign up for the site’s ad revenue sharing program) received a letter from the company informing them of an upcoming service that would allow their users to cut out the ads for a price. That doesn’t mean that the company is moving away from free video streaming any time soon, though: in a help document, YouTube called ad-supported streaming a “core focus” of the company.
According to a report by The Verge, the service will cost $9.99 a month, or roughly $2 per month more than the $7.99 YouTube Music Key service, which allows people to download and stream music and music videos from YouTube.
The subscription system seems like it could be a boon to both ad-hating users and creators alike. Youtube creators don’t make money when people use Adblock or similar systems, so providing users with a way to cut down on those annoying “Game of War” spots while simultaneously continuing to pay the people who make videos could help kill two birds with one stone.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether the subscription revenue will be able to replace ad revenue for YouTubers. All the partners who participate with the service will get a cut of the subscription fees, but it remains to be seen how that matches up against the money they would have made from showing ads to those people.
Of course, there’s a catch: partners who don’t want to take part in the program will have to make their videos private in order to keep them on the site. That’s not much of a choice for video makers.
All of this comes at a time when systems for making money from online video are changing rapidly. Patreon, a crowdfunding site started by Pomplamoose band member Jack Conte, counts a significant number of YouTube creators among its users. Vessel, a site that promises early access to YouTube videos, offers them up for a $2.99 subscription.