One of the problems faced by content creators these days is that more and more people are blocking ads that helps fund content. For example, a lot of the stuff you watch on YouTube is advertising funded, but if you use a ad blocker, then content creators are going to suffer.
This is apparently the line taken by Apple, which in its war with Google (who also owns YouTube) is launching adblocking as a native option for iPhones. This means, ads won’t be showing up where content is displayed.
This is bad news for you, as a content creator if you are relying on eyeballs to help support your content creation efforts. However it won’t affect you if you happen to be video blogging about your own business and the content you display is basically a means to promote your own business online.
This is why Google has introduced YouTube Red.
Now, Red sounds terrible as a name. It smacks of communism and China but in reality, it’s just another portal to get you to pay for content. It is a channel to monetize content for creators which isn’t new. Vimeo has similar subscriptions for content in its PRO service where you can sell your content in return for a fee of US$200 a year.
For Red, YouTube will pay you for the eyeballs you attract on your channel but your channel will not be available to free to view public streams. The other thing is that your content is distributed on a pay to view by hour basis of a subscriber. This means that YouTube takes 45 percent of the subscription revenue while the remaining 55 percent is distributed to content creators base on the number of hours a viewer spends on your channel. So if say a subscriber views your channel 10 hours a month out of 20 hours in total, you get 50 percent of the revenue.
YouTube Red also opens up the possibility of funding for your content creation. So if you have a channel which is valued, you might get some cash tossed your way to produce even more content.
At launch, the new YouTube service will carry a few unique channels not found on ‘free to stream’ public channels. These include…
- Scare PewDiePie: a reality-adventure series
- Sing It!: a scripted comedy that lovingly satirizes the reality singing competitions
- Fight of the Living Dead: famous YouTubers trapped in “a frighteningly realistic zombie apocalypse”
- A Trip to Unicorn Island: feature-length movie gives fans a look inside the life and journey of Lilly Singh on a 26-city tour
Some pundits have pointed out the caveat to all this is that fans who are not subscribed to Red, won’t be able to view your channel anywhere in the world.
For the majority of YouTube fans, who have been fed a steady stream of free content, the thought of paying for a subscription sounds too Netflix.
We do not know at this stage if the content you watch on Red is sharable to other social networks and if they are not, then there is no chance of your channel ever being promoted outside of the YouTube universe. This is a chicken and egg issue as if you’re not already famous on YouTube with millions of views, chances are you are not going to get noticed on Red.
So it has to work both ways, for subscribers to view their favourite content that is now found on YouTube Red, they have to subscribe, otherwise they won’t be getting their fix anytime soon.