YouTube Launches Red Subscription Service: Implications for Brands

YouTube has announced its new ad-free subscription service, YouTube Red. At $9.99 per month, members can access YouTube original TV shows and movies, similar to what competitor services like Netflix offer.

On mobile and tablet, users can stream videos in the background while navigating other applications. Users can also save videos to watch later, while offline.


Subscribers to streaming media services are expected to grow from 92.1 million in 2014 to a whopping 333.2 million by 2019, says TechCrunch. Although YouTube Red may gather a large following, many will continue using YouTube as a free service because:

  • According to the YouTube blog, YouTube Red original shows and movies won’t be released until next year. Users may wait to sign-up until they can appreciate the full benefits of YouTube Red.
  • YouTube Red won’t be providing access to popular TV shows and movies available on Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO GO.
  • All of YouTube Red’s original content will feature popular YouTube stars, but this doesn’t mean that the stars will stop posting videos on their own free channels.


YouTube Red should have little to no impact on your advertising efforts. Your main YouTube audience will continue to boom through the ad-supported, free version. Time states that YouTube reaches more 18-34 year olds than any other network and that video watch time is growing at 60% year over year, and that includes videos with ads. Currently, YouTube has over a billion users across the globe, with 40% more people watching each day since March 2014.

YouTube junkies—those obsessed with YouTube celebrities or those who can’t survive without YouTube on WiFi—will embrace Red. Furthermore, if YouTube Red produces a hit show (along the lines of House of Cards for Netflix), it could one day find its way into every consumers’ subscription-based streaming media stack. However, this still wouldn’t change the game for YouTube advertisers or brands that produce content, who should continue to stay the course with compelling content/ads aligned with consumer intent.

To learn more about advertising on YouTube & YouTube Red, contact your Performics account team today

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