Wednesday, December 23, 2015

YouTube Now Offers a Premium Paid Service, Is It Worth the Money?

YouTube has been a monstrous hit for Internet video enthusiasts ever since its creation, but just recently, it was announced that YouTube now has a premium service called YouTube Red. Now you can watch viral videos and other great entertainment flicks in a whole new way. Still, this change has some people concerned over what it means for their current YouTube watching habits. What do you get with a YouTube Red subscription, anyway?
What is YouTube Red?
The impact that subscription-based streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus have had on the entertainment industry is staggering. We’ve seen people cutting the cord on their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services. Despite these changes to how entertainment is consumed, YouTube has remained free, but with ads for some YouTubers’ videos. Now, however, YouTubers can pay $10/month to get rid of all ads. That means no more waiting to get right to your video browsing.
The only catch here is that YouTube Red is only available in the United States at the present moment. Given time, it will surely spread to other countries around the world. With YouTube Red, you can use any of the following devices for ad-free videos:
  • YouTube and YouTube Gaming apps for both Android and iOS
  • Google Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Video Game Consoles: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4
  • Roku (LT, 1, 2, 2 HD, 2 XS, 3, Streaming Stick, Roku TV)
  • Some smart TVs
Starting in 2016, there will be members-only content from popular YouTube channels, but this content is expected to eventually hit the common masses (with ads). It’s also worth mentioning that a YouTube Red subscription is essentially the same thing as a Google Play Music subscription (ordinarily valued at $10/month). If you already subscribe to Google Play Music, you automatically have access to YouTube Red.
Other YouTube Red Benefits
The primary reason to get YouTube Red is probably to get rid of ads and to take full advantage of Google Play Music, but there are a couple of other handy features that might see some use. YouTube Red allows for the downloading and viewing of videos, as well as listening to videos while your device screen is turned off. Keep in mind that these features only currently work with the mobile YouTube and YouTube Gaming apps for Android and iOS. Here’s some more information about the features:
  • Offline viewing: If you’ve used Google Docs at all, you know you can edit documents offline if you previously set up the “edit offline” feature. YouTube Red lets you do something similar with videos. You can download YouTube videos to your device for offline viewing. These are available for up to 30 days without an Internet connection. Naturally, there are some features that aren’t available while offline, like liking and commenting on the videos, but offline viewing is still a pretty neat benefit that might see some practical use.
  • Background listening: You know how if you lock your device while watching or listening to a music video with the YouTube app, the video pauses and music stops playing? That doesn’t happen with YouTube Red. You can listen to videos while the screen is off, which is great for listening to music or audiobooks.
What This Means for You
YouTube Red might be an interesting new way to consume online videos, but it should be mentioned that this doesn’t affect the way you currently use YouTube in the slightest. Nonsubscribers can still enjoy the same benefits that they’ve come to know and love, but with the minor nuisance of ads. Basically, whether or not you take advantage of YouTube Red will probably be determined by just how desperate you are to eliminate ads, and whether or not you want to use both Google Play Music and the new download feature.
What are your thoughts on YouTube Red? Share them with us in the comments.

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