With YouTube Red launching in the US this week, YouTubers can now choose a paid-for subscription tier offering exclusive ad-free content from some of the site’s most popular creators.
With 75% of American internet users visiting YouTube each month, this latest move has the potential to make a big impact. But the key question remains: will YouTubers pay for premium content?
As our midweek chart shows, almost 3 in 10 US YouTubers are currently parting with their cash for a TV/film streaming service, making this the most popular type of paid-for digital content. However, the network will have to work hard to convince users to subscribe to YouTube in addition to, or instead of, services such Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video; the former is the dominant name in the video streaming market at the moment, while the latter both have decent footholds too.
Given that twice the number of YouTubers say they use Netflix as pay for a streaming service, YouTube will also need to overcome the challenges presented by account sharing and free trials. What’s more, as these established players ramp up their original content offerings, YouTube’s biggest hurdle will be to convince people that its content is equally worthy of a subscription fee.