- Starting in 2019, the new original content on YouTube will be available for free with advertisements, instead of being exclusively available through the company's subscription service, YouTube Premium.
- The goal of the streaming platform's decision to move its original content out of its subscription service is to broaden its audience and "meet the growing demand for more." a more global fan base, "said YouTube.
- This decision raises serious questions about the future of YouTube's premium subscription service at $ 12 per month and highlights a long-standing tension within YouTube's business.
It's been less than eight months since YouTube launched its "Premium" subscription service at $ 12 a month – and one can already wonder if its days are numbered.
YouTube announced Tuesday that its original video programs, including sci-fi drama and reality shows, would no longer be reserved for premium subscribers starting in 2019. Instead, YouTube's originals will be available for free on YouTube. site, with advertisements for all.
A YouTube spokesperson told Business Insider that the decision to move its original content outside of its subscription service was aimed at expanding its audience and "meeting the growing demand from a fan base." more global ".
But the move raises serious questions about the future of YouTube Premium.
Access to the originals was one of the main selling points of YouTube Premium. The subscription product – which combines YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Originals – was launched in May alone. For $ 11.99 per month, users have access to a music streaming service similar to Spotify, to which are added more than 100 Originals, including "Cobra Kai", inspired by "Karate Kid" and the drama of science fiction "Origin".
Now that originals are available for free with ads, why pay $ 12 per month for YouTube Premium? If you really hate ads, it may be worth it for the ad-free version of Originals. But many people will probably decide to be able to run ads on videos and opt for the YouTube Music Premium service for $ 10 a month, which is cheaper for music only.
The YouTube spokesperson would not respond directly to Business Insider's request regarding its possible intention to remove YouTube Premium.
"YouTube Premium's Value Proposition Remains the Same Users who want to connect to YouTube Premium offline, without advertising or music, will continue to sign up for YouTube Premium, including watching ads without ads from YouTube." Originals, "said the spokesman. .
Read more: YouTube's new music subscription service takes Apple Music and Spotify
This decision is part of a new strategy, said YouTube, which allows all audiences (including those who are willing to pay for an ad-free experience) to access YouTube Originals. The company notes that Premium subscribers will continue to gain exclusive access to Originals such as "Cobra Kai" that have already been produced (it's just that all new original content will be available for free in 2019).
Is YouTube's advertising activity too powerful to make room for a subscription business?
YouTube's strategy shift comes as Apple plans to launch its own streaming service of original content as early as March 2019. Apple's service will include a combination of original content and licensing agreements with consumers. Production Companies. iPhone or iPad.
This decision also highlights the long-standing tension between advertising-funded YouTube activities (which generate billions of dollars in revenue every year) and the beginnings of subscriptions. The potential to generate advertising revenue from Originals video content is so important that YouTube can not afford not to take advantage of it, even if it means compromising the potential of the subscription activity.
YouTube does not disclose the number of subscribers to its Premium or Music Premium services.
It's a dilemma with which YouTube has been struggling for years and, according to some industry insiders, that's why YouTube has been struggling to create a successful paid subscription service. And judging by the decision made Tuesday to get Originals out of the paying wall of the subscription, it seems that the advertising side of the business has gained even more.