Today, Google informed its partners (i.e. video creators) about a change to its YouTube Terms & Conditions. The plan is to roll out a subscription-based version of YouTube that lets viewers watch videos offline and without adverts.

How will this work?

Video creators will have to upload their work so it’s behind a ‘paywall’, meaning that only subscribers to the ad-free service will be able to view their videos.

How much will it cost for the ad-free service?

According to a report by The Verge, the service will cost about $10 per month, with Google retaining about 45% of the subscription revenue. The remaining 55% will be given to partners, based on the amount of time people spend watching their channels. The $10 subscription charge includes functionality that allows users to store videos offline on a mobile device.

When will this happen?

Within the next few months, and video creators have been given a deadline of 15 June to sign up.

What happens if video creators don’t want to be part of the YouTube ad-free subscription service?

Well that’s tough, really!  Video creators must agree to participate in the new service or their videos will be automatically set to “private”, which of course means nobody else can see them.

If video creators want to make money they must sign the new Ts & Cs, and all videos will be included in both the free advert-supported version and the subscription version.

Here is the email sent by Google to partners:-

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


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