Shannan Singletary ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
A YouTube video subscription service will become a reality very soon.
The purported service would allow viewers to watch videos free of ads for a monthly fee. The cost of the program or its expected rollout date have not yet been released, though rumors of an October release date have been circulating.
News of the subscription service and its supposed release quickly spread last week after YouTube sent an email to creators in its YouTube Partners program asking them to update their terms of agreement to reflect changes for the new program.
“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,” YouTube wrote in its email to Partners.
YouTube continued on to state that the new “ads-free” version of YouTube will “create a new source of revenue over time” that will supplement the revenue content creators are already receiving from advertising on their videos.
The email calls for Partners to update their terms of agreement to reflect the new changes. The new agreement states that partners will receive 55% “of total net revenues recognized by YouTube from subscription fees that are attributable to the monthly views or watchtime of your Content as a percentage of the monthly views or watchtime of all or a subset of participating content in the relevant subscription offering (as determined by YouTube).”
In simpler terms, creators will receive 55% of subscription based revenue that YouTube attributes to them based on the how much viewers are watching their videos, which is equivalent to the percentage Partners make on their videos from advertising revenue.
Rumors of a late October release date have stemmed from the October 22 deadline that YouTube gave creators to update their terms. For those who do not agree to the new terms by this date, their “videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States.”
If Partners do not meet this deadline, they are still able to go in and agree to the new terms any time, effectively reinstating their monetization. It does not appear that the new subscription service will require any other action from creators aside from updating their terms.
Some reports have suggested that the new subscription service will combine the YouTube subscription music service, YouTube Music Key (released last year), with the video service, allowing users access to both subscription services for one monthly price.
This new subscription video service is coming at a time when YouTube is facing competition from other subscription services. New streaming service Vessel is now working with many of YouTube’s biggest creators, offering fans the ability to stream their videos before they are released on YouTube for a $2.99/month fee. Additionally, multi-channel network Fullscreen recently announced its own subscription video service featuring content from a list of creators as well as third party content.