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article imageGoogle unveils ad-free subscription YouTube for $10 a month

By James Walker     Oct 21, 2015 in Internet
Google has today taken the wraps off its long-rumoured YouTube subscription service. For $9.99 a month, members will get ad-free access to every video on the service as well as exclusive benefits including offline download and background playback.
Known as YouTube Red, Google will be pressing play on the feature in the U.S. on October 28. A one month free trial will be offered before users have to start paying out cash.
Google says that YouTube's fans have been "telling us they want more" for years. It describes YouTube Red as "exactly what they want … a new membership designed to provide you with the ultimate YouTube experience."
Members will have all the videos they watch cleared of adverts and popup messages, putting the original content at the centre while still supporting the creators. Google will be paying out using a slightly altered model that channel owners have already had to agree to.
Aside from ad-free viewing, subscribers will also be able to download content to watch offline on a phone or tablet. Although this is already possible using several third-party client apps, it could be an attractive offer for people who would rather stick with the official option.
Google says memberships will extend across devices and seamlessly give you premium access everywhere you sign into YouTube. It will work with YouTube Gaming and YouTube Music, also officially announced today.
YouTube Music "will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs" and is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music "easier than ever." In a deal which could lead to growth in two of Google's most important entertainment services, YouTube Music subscriptions as part of YouTube Red will also include access to Google Play Music. The subscription will also work in reverse, giving existing Play Music users automatic access to YouTube Red at its launch.
Google says it's working hard to roll out YouTube Red across the world but didn't get any more specific than saying it will be coming to new countries "soon." It also reiterated its intent to bring YouTube Gaming, YouTube Music and YouTube Kids to more regions in the future.
The existence of YouTube Red has been rumoured for some time now so its unveiling shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Google has been looking to find new ways to monetize YouTube while better supporting its creators and providing an improved user experience and, judging by its boasts of an "ultimate experience", seems confident that the $9.99-a-month service will satisfy people annoyed by advertisements and seeking more functionality from the official YouTube app for iOS and Android.
Allaying the fears of everybody who doesn't intend to sign-up, Google has stated it is remaining committed to developing the free, ad-supported YouTube that the Internet has known to date. The company says it "isn't going anywhere" and is offering Red as an alternative to those users who have told it they are willing to pay to get more value from their viewing.
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