Music Industry

YouTube’s Paid Premium Tier Just Days Away?

We’ve long become accustomed to watching whatever we want on YouTube for free. That ride may be coming to an end–or to at least some kind of fork in the road between “free” and “premium.” This is from Re/Code:

Coming to YouTube: Videos you’ll need to pay to see.

The world’s biggest video site is readying a slate of programming that will only be available to people who join its upcoming subscription services. YouTube will announce some of that programming, which it is helping to fund, at an event at its studio/event space in Los Angeles next Wednesday, October 21.

Industry sources say the programming is the product of an initiative the site announced last year, when YouTube said it would “fund new content from some of our top creators.”

At the time, YouTube didn’t say that stuff it was funding would be placed behind a paywall. But industry sources say the site now intends to use at least some of the content it is bankrolling as a bonus for its premium subscription service, which will also include features like ad-free videos.

YouTube will continue to operate a free, ad-supported version of the site, and has said that all of the videos that appear on the free site will be available on its paid version — which is why YouTube is insisting that all video makers who make money from YouTube ads need to participate in the subscription service as well.

It’s unclear when you’ll be able to see the new programming YouTube is announcing. Sources say some of the stuff YouTube is paying for hasn’t been created yet, and won’t be available until 2016. In September, I reported that industry sources expected YouTube to launch its subscription service near the end of this month, though it could slip past 2015.

A YouTube rep declined to comment.

Read on here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38032 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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