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YouTube Red: YouTubers to get the 'vast majority' of money generated by new subscription service

YouTube partners will soon get much more than the current 55 per cent of ad revenue

Doug Bolton
Thursday 22 October 2015 17:42 BST
Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie, the world's highest-earning YouTuber
Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie, the world's highest-earning YouTuber (AFP/Getty)

YouTube has said that its 'partners' - the people who create content and monetise their videos with adverts - will get the "vast majority" of revenues created through its new advertising-free subscription service, YouTube Red.

Currently, YouTube partners only get 55 per cent of the advertising revenues created by their videos, compared to the roughtly 70 per cent of revenues that artists receive through paid-for services like Spotify and Apple Music.

However, by taking some of YouTube's most popular content from an advertising-funded model to a paid subscription-based one, YouTube will be able to give more money to creators.


Users who want to get rid of ads on YouTube can install AdBlock in seconds - however, this means the creators of the videos don't get any money for their efforts.

By paying for a Red subscription, users will be able to get rid of ads while still supporting their favourite channels.

The service also offers offline viewing, a background video player that allows you to close the app and continue listening, and some high-profile exclusive content.

It also comes with a subscription to the Google Play Music streaming service, which in itself costs $10 a month.

If loyal viewers know their favourite channels will get a bigger cut of the advertising revenue than they did before, $10 a month for the whole bundle could be a good deal.

Some concern has been raised by the tech media about the YouTube partners themselves, however - YouTube said that partners who do not agree to the new terms and conditions of Red will have their videos made private, hiding them from public view until they agree.

YouTube said around 99 per cent of partners have agreed to the new terms, unsurprisingly given the increased revenue they stand to get, the prospect of having videos hidden, and the fact their content will still be accessible through normal, ad-supported YouTube anyway.

The company says the reason for this seemingly heavy-handed approach is to ensure consistency - it would be a huge problem for the company if customers paid their $10 a month only to find their favourite channel wasn't available through YouTube Red.

It appears as though content creators have little recourse but to agree, as the alternative is having their videos hidden - but as some partners explained, Red means simply agreeing to a new set of terms, and the prospect of more advertising money.

YouTube Red launches in the US on 28 October, with the UK launch coming later. The terms and conditions of Red only apply to YouTube partners - ordinary users who upload the occasional video won't be affected.

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