YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl just unveiled You Tube Red, a $9.99 a month service ($12.99 for iOS devices) that will give subscribers ad-free access to YouTube’s videos, games and music — and enable them to download content to use offline for 30 days.
Beginning next year the package also will include original programming from some of YouTube’s more popular content providers including Maker Studios, Skybound Entertainment, Fine Brothers Entertainment, and Alpine Labs.
“YouTube Red marks an evolution in our desire to give fans more choice and features that they love,” Kyncl says.
Beginning on October 28, U.S. subscribers can access the content on any device. In addition to the Google unit’s YouTube and Gaming apps, it plans to introduce a YouTube Music app that will complement the company’s Google Play Music subscription service.
YouTube also introduced its upcoming original programming initiative, spearheaded by former MTV programming president Susanne Daniels.
She says that she came to YouTube because of the “incredible diversity of content on this platform” that “captures the attention this new generation of fans.” Daniels says it can give its stars “a new, bigger, older, platform.”
Kyncl adds that YouTube Red will be unlike other subscription streaming services including Netflix, that also have original programming. “We are focusing a lot on providing premium features, providing a new experience with music… Every step that we have taken along the way is completely, 180 degrees the opposite of what Netflix has done.”
The content will be targeted to young viewers and gamers.
The company plans to expand YouTube Red to other countries next year. Google won’t disclose deal terms with content creators, but says that it is “paying out the majority of revenue to our partners.”
Kyncl adds in a blog post that the ad-supported version of YouTube “isn’t going anywhere. You’ll still be able to enjoy YouTube, along with the YouTube Kids, Gaming and Music apps free of charge. But with YouTube Red, you’ll be able to support the people who make your favorite videos while watching what you want, when you want, on any device you want, uninterrupted.”
YouTube says it has more than 1 billion users. On mobile devices alone it reaches more 18-to-34 year olds and 18-to-49 year olds than any U.S. cable network. People upload about 400 hours of video content to YouTube every minute.