Ad-free YouTube For a Fee

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Google had announced YouTube Red, an ad-free Youtube service for $9.99 a month for Android users when it launches in the U.S. next week.  It will be available when subscribers sign on a variety of devices and apps, including a new YouTube Music app that is set to launch later this year.

YouTube Red will expand to other major markets next year. For users of iPhones and other Apple Inc. Devices, the service, will cost $12.99 a month.  The service opens up revenue inflow to appease content partners such as record companies to stay afloat, as CD and download sales decline.

The paid YouTube service paves way for the long term sustenance of the music industry, gloat the record company executives.  Google will soon have to make fresh licensing deals as at least some of its rights expire early next year.  Google has for several years offered a separate $10-a-month music subscription service, Google Play Music with a miniscule subscriber compared to Spotify AB and the Apple’s three-month-old Apple Music.

 “We’re realizing paid membership is a really hard business to be in,” said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl at a press event Wednesday at YouTube’s campus near the Los Angeles International Airport, a sprawling space where YouTube stars and mainstream artists frequently perform and make videos.  YouTube’s new music app will also seek to differentiate itself from competitors like an easily searchable database of each artist’s music videos, live performance videos, covers, remixes and other unofficial versions of their songs apart from listed music.

The music app will be free to download and use, but subscribing will remove ads and unlock additional background and offline features.  App users get a 14-day free YouTube Red membership without entering a credit card number and can extend their trial for an additional 30 days after entering credit card information.  The new music app will operate separately from Google Play, but YouTube Red members will get subscription access to Google Play Music, and vice versa.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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