YouTube Plans Pay Channel, Streaming Music

Would you pay to watch YouTube programming if it didnEUt include advertising? The company is betting you will. YouTube this week announced a new paid subscription service that would eliminate ads. The video site, which is owned by Google, is starting a service that would offer commercial-free access for $9.99 per month.

The new channel, YouTube Red, will be available in the United States starting next week, and the company plans to roll it out in other countries beginning in 2016. YouTube also announced an expanded music platform and plans to produce original movies.

YouTube Red would also let subscribers save videos on their computers or smartphones to watch later. Users can also use other apps on their phones to hear whatEUs playing in any YouTube video, something the YouTube app currently allow.

Old Version Still Free

The service will be available via many of the same venues as YouTube, including desktop, mobile and connected devices. YouTube Red will also be available through the new YouTube Gaming app, the YouTube Kids app and Google Play Music.

The regular version of YouTube, which is funded by commercials, will remain available and free for all users. YouTube has more than 1 billion users worldwide. It's the worldEUs third-most visited Web site, after Google and Facebook.

With the new service, YouTube is aiming to realize the commercial potential of its product without alienating users who are used to the old version.

We reached out to Jan Rezab, founder and chairman of Socialbakers, a social media marketing and measurement firm based in Prague, to get his thoughts on YouTube's plans.

Rezab told us that putting too much emphasis on competing with platforms other than Facebook might be a mistake for YouTube as it also prepares to take on such music streaming services as Spotify, Pandora and Rdio.

"YouTube should really...

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