When it comes to online content, you're going to pay; one way or the other. Either with cash or with eyeballs fixed on a deluge of advertisements. Come Oct. 28, YouTube will give its viewers a way to opt out of the latter and into the former. YouTube Red is a $10-per-month subscription service that lets viewers watch an ad-free YouTube, and will also give them access to two music services.
YouTube announced its Red initiative will let users watch any video on the site without ads. It also bestows a number of smaller benefits; viewers will be able to download videos to watch offline and play videos in the background on mobile devices. (Historically, this has only been allowed on PCs, leaving those who use YouTube for background music high and dry.)
Red will also give subscribers access to two music services: Google Play's unlimited streaming service and YouTube Music: an upcoming project from YouTube that will put music front and center. YouTube has not released details on what, exactly, YouTube Music will be, but the company has suggested that it will be similar to YouTube Gaming Kids — the same content with a different presentation and focus. Naturally, users who already subscribe to Google Play Music will receive a Red subscription as well.
One potentially large benefit of YouTube Red will be access to original content. Much like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video reserve their original series for paid subscribers, so too will YouTube Red. They'll have to wait for a while, though: While Red itself will launch on Oct. 28, the shows will not debut until sometime next year. Popular content creators for this project include gaming commentator PewDiePie, comedy website College Humor and the irreverent production company Rooster Teeth.
At least at first, YouTube Red will only be available in the United States, with other countries to follow "soon." Starting on Oct. 28, interested users can take the program for a one-month test drive, free of charge.