Love watching videos on YouTube, but hate sitting through (or waiting 5 seconds to skip) the ads? Google is launching another option.

Starting October 28th, you’ll be able to pay $9.99 per month for a YouTube Red subscription. It provides access to all YouTube content on all your devices. But you’ll never see an ad (at least not an ad served by YouTube — video makers might still include their own ads).

That’s only one of the perks YouTube Red membership buys you though.

youtube red

If you use the YouTube Red app on your phone or tablet, you’ll also be able to download videos for offline playback, and you’ll be ale to play videos in the background so you can listen to music videos or other content while another app is running in the foreground.

There’s also a new YouTube Music app that lets you find music videos.

Already paying for a Google Play Music Unlimited account? Don’t worry: YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscriptions are linked: you only need to pay for one to use the other.

Google also plans to begin offering original content that’s available exclusively to YouTube Red members, at least initially. Rival online video services Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu have also been investing heavily in original content, but for the most part those companies are working with traditional filmmakers and TV producers, while YouTube Red’s original content will come from new media stars, with movies and web shows from popular YouTube channels including PewDiePie, The Fine Brothers, CollegeHumor, and more.

YouTube Red will be available in the US starting October 28th, when you’ll be able to sign up for a 1-month free trial before deciding whether to spend $9.99 per month on the service.

Last year we asked if you’d pay for an ad-free version of YouTube, and more than 40 percent of you said no, while a similar number said it depended on the price.

Now we know the price — and also know that in addition to ad-free video playback a subscription also includes on-demand streaming of millions of songs from Google Play Music, offline playback of videos, and background playback as well.

So what do you think? Is $10 per month for YouTube Red + Play Music Unlimited a good deal?

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27 replies on “YouTube Red launches Oct 28th: Ad-free YouTube for $10 per month”

  1. YouTube Red is about the most useless subscription I’ve ever heard of. The background play for mobile can be obtained through Xposed Framework, downloading videos can be done with your choice of Firefox addon, and ads are easily blocked.

    If they plan to enforce measures to prevent all those little workarounds, I can just ditch to another service that isn’t pulling all of this. It’s not like I need YouTube.

  2. This Internet has become a huge cash cow. Much of the content isn’t worth the price.

    1. I’m guessing you’re not old enough to remember when a vinyl single (just 2 songs) was $5 (in 2015 money), an album $23, and a single hit movie on VHS could cost as much as $100.

      Never, in the history of civilization has so much media content been available for such a low price. But then, people will always find something to complain about!

  3. This kinda spins the story all wrong. Seems like this should be covered as Google adds ad free YouTube to Google Play Music as sweetener. Nobody is going to pay $10/mo to avoid a few ads, go look at Hulu Plus and the price gap there between ads and no-ads and that extra fee eliminates ads within shows, not just a single preroll that can be skipped after five lousy seconds if you have already seen it.

    The download for offline viewing is interesting though.

    Amazing how uniform the pricing is. Amazon Prime is about 10/mo. Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Slacker, Apple, Google, all about 10/mo. Then there are services that let you read ebooks… for that same $10/mo. Which wouldn’t be terrible until you realize none of them have much content so you would end up paying for several at once. Then there are the really stupid players like Sirus/XM that think they can charge a lot more.

    1. I don’t think Amazon Prime is a good comparison. I think the big draw there is the free 2-day shipping. You left out Rdio. I recently looked into buying a premium music streaming subscription and found that I liked Rdio the best. But, now I may go with YouTube Red / Google Play Music.

  4. What a pity that the Google Music App is so severely limited in features! I canceled my subscription some months ago… quality and selection of the music service are good though and the Red Addon is a smart choice for keeping people on the platform.

  5. I think they will do well with it. I’d love to see how much money they are able to keep with it though – having to pay both Youtube makers and music companies.

    TheVerge had an interesting article with the guy behind this program at Youtube and he gave some numbers which make it a lot more plausible story on their side. Though he didn’t talk about the inclusion of Google Play Music.
    The key is your statement that these services are linked – so one implies the other. If that stays true for the family plan when it comes then you are in a whole new ballgame I think.

    A lot of people talk about how they already can bypass the ads with an adblocker. But like everything else the numbers skew more and more mobile and you can’t use an adblocker on the mobile youtube app, even if you were so inclined. So that is a completely spurious argument to me.
    Those viewing numbers skew more and more mobile as the age bracket goes down. No surprise there. But this makes it all the more interesting in the context of the family plan.
    Ask the kids what music service they’d like and GPMusic might not even be in the discussion. But if you tell them no more ads on Youtube then perhaps it’s not only in the discussion but the preferred choice. I can certainly see that for a lot of people.

    I think they’ve got a fairly strong offering with both services at that price. Also, I think if you get a new Chromecast now then it might come with a 3 month trial of the music service??

    1. “A lot of people talk about how they already can bypass the ads with an adblocker.”

      There are ad blockers that will block YouTube pre-roll ads?

      1. On Desktops – of course
        On Android – with root you can install Adblockers like AdFree by BigTinCan.com that block ads globally through modifying the host file, effectively blocking ALL ads systemwide in any app, not just the browser or YouTube.

  6. I think this approach is great. Google needs a premium tier for all their services. When you have money, why should you live like people without it?

    1. How about the people that don’t have it? Oh yeah, they get to sit through commercials, just like the commercials on cable TV. Do you remember when cable TV was commercial free? Now, we have to pay to watch advertisements along with repeats.

  7. Google is devolving instead of evolving. This also shows how little confidence they have in their own work.
    The goal should be premium content for free, we are not in 2005 anymore. Google has been mismanaged for years now and they keep doing nothing about it.

    1. Huh? Their goal should be to give away the store? in what world does that make sense?

      1. Their goal should be to leverage their one of a kind position to deliver targeted ads to convince old TV ad holdouts to bring that money over to web based delivery.

        1. That’s a tough sell when you look at how Netflix, Amazon, and HBO are doing with an ad-free, subscription model. If people wanted free, ad-driven programming, these services would not be doing as well as they are.

          In any case, they *are* leveraging their one-of-a-kind position. Providing ad-free viewing for their entire YouTube catalog is, at the very least, a nice bonus for those who sign up for the service.

  8. Right now, unless you’re already a subscriber to Google Play Music, it seems overpriced, but it really depends on the quality and amount of original content they ultimately provide. If they start rivaling the output of Amazon or Netflix, then no-ads for YouTube becomes a bonus feature rather than a core feature, which seems more appropriate.

    1. Spotify $10 per month. Rdio $10 per month. I think this is better. It includes Google Play Music.

  9. Still paying $8 for Play All Access / Music Key. 😀

    Taking offer was one great choice.

  10. Way over priced for what I already get and the promise of content that doesn’t even exist yet…

    1. Sounds like you’re just missing the satisfaction of supporting the people creating content on YouTube.

      1. The content I watch, that is worth paying for, all have their own advertisers in the show, all the rest, absolutely worthless.

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