YouTube will soon launch a paid subscription offering and could launch within the next few months, according to multiple sources. In an email sent to all YouTube partners, they note that the paid subscription service will let users watch videos without ads.
“We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue,” YouTube said in the email.
The Verge also notes that subscribers will be able to download video and watch it offline, and that creators will be able to put videos behind a paywall.
However, YouTube’s subscription program comes with massive caveats. The subscription revenue will be pooled together and 55 percent of that will go to all partners – with the individual partner share determined by how long users watch video on their channel. In addition, creators are required to participate or have their videos listed as private.
The move comes after the launch of Vessel, a new premium video subscription offering from the team behind Hulu. Vessel has managed to sign up a large number of high-profile YouTubers, who have agreed to put their content first on Vessel before putting it on all their other profiles (including YouTube) for a cut of the subscription revenue.
The full letter, which TechGeek received, can be found below:
Dear YouTube Partner,
Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we’ve taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we’ve seen tremendous engagement. And we’ve seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience— it’s already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month.
We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue.
So what’s next?
Launching a new paid offering will require us to update your terms through your Creator Studio Dashboard—a process that should feel familiar to anyone who 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 200% in the last year. Just as with mobile, we’re confident this latest contract update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you. Please look out for our notification, review it and let us know your thoughts.
It’s an exciting year for YouTube, as we push ourselves into uncharted territories. But we continue to be guided by a desire to deliver the choices fans want and the revenue you need. By working closely with you, we know it’ll be a successful journey.
The YouTube Team