YouTube has prepared content owners for the release of a premium, ad-free subscription version of the world's biggest video sharing platform. Launch plans appear to be final with the Google-owned company telling those who share ad revenue with the site to agree to new terms or lose their ability to display and monetise videos in the United States.
The idea of YouTube Premium has been around for some time with no real timeline in place but the gears certainly appear to be in motion with industry insiders telling Recode the service is expected to launch towards the end of October.
YouTube's music service, Music Key, was once set to be a service of its own, with its own subscription model, however that appears to have been rolled into the wider premium model. Sources have said Google intends to charge $10 (£6.60) a month for the combined offering.
A YouTube spokesperson told Recode: "We are progressing according to plan to provide fans more options in how they enjoy content on YouTube. We have support from the overwhelming majority of our partners, with over 95% of YouTube watch-time covered by agreements, and more in the pipeline about to close."
The email sent to content owners
For years, YouTube's fans have been telling us they want more — more choice when watching their favorite content, more ways to support their favorite creators and, above all, the option to watch their favorite videos uninterrupted.
To give fans more choice we will be launching a new ads-free version of YouTube, available to fans for a monthly fee. This service will create a new source of revenue over time that supplements your advertising revenue. That's why an overwhelming majority of our partners — representing over 95% of YouTube watchtime — have asked for and signed up for this service.
As you heard in our previous emails, we want to ensure that fans who choose to pay for an ads-free experience can watch all the same videos that are available on the ads-supported experience. That's why we're asking you to update your agreement to reflect the updated terms for the ads-free service.
To accept, simply log into YouTube.com as "pakafka" from a desktop or laptop and follow the prompts by October 22nd.
If you haven't signed by that date, your videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States. That outcome would be a loss for YouTube, a loss for the thriving presence you've built on the platform, and above all, a loss for your fans. We remain committed to working with you, as we always have. And of course, at any time, you can accept the updated terms which will make your videos public and monetizable again. Common FAQs can be found here.
We believe these new terms will greatly strengthen our partnership for the future. We went through a similar process three years ago when we began distributing and monetizing your content on mobile devices. Today, mobile represents over half of all watchtime and mobile revenue is up 2x in just the last year. Just as with mobile, we're confident this latest update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you.
If you have questions or encounter technical difficulties, we're here to help: reach out to us for support here.
The YouTube Team