YouTube Red

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Ten years ago, Youtube was invented and slowly it became what it is today. Anyone can make videos, anyone can watch videos, and everyone can get involved.

Now, YouTube has changed the game once again with YouTube Red. This new invention is an offshoot of YouTube that blocks all ads, has exclusive content, advancements in the app, and makes the whole experience seem more official and sophisticated. These perks cost $9.99 a month.

Youtube made the announcement through a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL9RetC0ook) on the 21st of October, with a ton of excitement and hype.

They said “For years, YouTube’s fans have been telling us they want more—more choice when watching their favorite content, more ways to support their favorite creators and, above all, the option to watch their favorite videos uninterrupted.

“On October 28, we’re giving fans exactly what they want. Introducing YouTube Red — a new membership designed to provide you with the ultimate YouTube experience.”

Despite their excitement, fans of YouTubers met this change how change is always met, with controversy. Yes, fans have been itching for something new and exciting, and there are definitely positives to the idea, but that is not what many viewers had in mind.

Julia Zak ('18) (top left), Imani Burton ('18) (top right), Becky Michnowski ('18) (bottom left), and Nivi Ramalingam ('18) (bottom right) all sharing opinions

Julia Zak (’18) (top left), Imani Burton (’18) (top right), Becky Michnowski (’18) (bottom left), and Nivi Ramalingam (’18) (bottom right) all sharing opinions

There are many concerns among users about the new YouTube Red. Some users are concerned about how much money will actually go to the content creators watch. With YouTubers previously making money solely off of ad revenue, that goes directly to them, some are concerned about how much of their $9.99 is actually going to go to the creators that they watch, and if subscribing will even benefit the creators at all.

Some are concerned about their favorite creators making “Red Only” content that free users will not be able to see, and Red Only content won’t get the views and the audience a free video will get. A very large majority of YouTube users are teenagers, who might not have the money or the ability to pay money to be able to see the content that their favorite creators make.

The fact of money is also a concern. Many users may not be able to afford the $10 dollars a month in order to watch YouTube Red content. Many users might not even care enough to pay for YouTube Red.

Others are concerned about how this shift of pace will affect the community of YouTube.  The website has always been a place where anyone can be a content creator or be someone just tuning in to watch – it was a place where everyone could be on an equal playing ground.  Even Youtubers, such as John Green from the Vlogbrothers, expressed concerns about this upgrade through a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v3i5pRmqI4).

Green commented that “at its best, Youtube isn’t something you watch, it’s something you’re part of”, and this new fancy club could add separation.  He went on to say that it has always been “a flat platform for both creators and audiences” and that he “has the same capacity to reach an audience sitting [there in his] basement as a major media company does”.  This update changes that.

Despite this, there are definitely positives to YouTube Red.  Green pointed out that, as there would be more definite financial support, YouTubers that participate in Red can make high budget productions that would not be possible before with the support of ads.

Hank Green Twitter poll

Hank Green’s Twitter poll

So there are positives and negatives but what do people actually think of YouTube Red? The two of us took to Twitter to ask some of our friends if they were going to subscribe to YouTube’s new service and voting was a unanimous “no”. A few other creators asked their followers what they thought about YouTube Red as well. A Twitter poll by Hank Green asking the question “Have you signed up for YouTube Red’s free trial?” resulted in a whopping 98% saying that they did not. A similar poll from YouTuber “Matthiasiam” showed that only 5% signing were up, and this is for a free trial. Will YouTube Red actually be able to draw in any revenue from this new service if free trial numbers are this low?

Matthiasiam's Twitter poll

Matthiasiam’s Twitter poll

Lenape students also weighed in with their opinions. Rana Hussein (’18) says “Well, I actually enjoy watching the ads on YouTube so YouTube red probably wouldn’t be for me, but regardless I feel like the occasional 10 to 30 second ad isn’t worth ten dollars a month to avoid. Although, I think the fact that you are given access to exclusive content is cool and that aspect would probably intrigue a lot of people.”

Rachita Ghose (’17) said “I think it’s kind of dumb. According to some, it only really benefits YouTube, while the creator only gets a small amount of the money the consumer puts in.”

Jo Hammond (’17) said, “It’s terrible, it has no merit whatsoever. It is made specifically so that YouTube can take away money from the content creators. Those same creators are already suffering under YouTube’s ridiculously low pay. The only people who make money off of YouTube are the ones with millions of subscribers. Now, not even they will make any money even though they work on their channels full time. YouTube is like a vampire, it sucks every last drop of blood from the creators and then asks for more.”