Last week, Google announced it would be releasing a new subscription service for YouTube, called YouTube Red.
The new service will be available to customers beginning on October 28.
It will provide subscribers with ad-free videos, a music streaming service and exclusive content from YouTube celebrities. It is an extension of Google’s existing Play Music service, which is a music streaming competitor with Spotify and Apple Music. It will also allow users to download videos and playlists to view offline.
The service will be $9.99 a month on Android and 12.99 a month on iOS to cover for Apple’s App Store tax.
A share of the profits from this service will go to the content creators on YouTube, including headliner PewDiePie, among other YouTube Originals.
This move comes after Google’s recent financial reports have shown that the company has struggled to monetize YouTube, despite increased advertising on the service. Part of the new features will roll out under a separate app from the main YouTube app, and instead they will be a part of YouTube Music.
An added feature is that audio can continue to stream in the background while a user navigates away from the app, this feature was previously unavailable in iOS and for some videos on Android phones.
The video streaming service, which has over 1 billion users, was bought by Google in 2006, is the dominant player in the video streaming space, beating out competitors like Vimeo.
YouTube has struggled to figure out what its role is in the streaming industry, as it is not quite a music service, not quite a content service (like Netflix and Hulu), but not quite an open platform like Twitter or Facebook. It has lost some of its most popular video-makers in the last few years to other services that were more profitable to release content on.
The move comes as an attempt to help move the service into the mobile era, where Google faces stiff competition from its competitors (much more so than on the desktop web). YouTube’s foray into streaming should help it monetize and compete in the mobile space.
YouTube has also launched apps for children’s videos and gaming videos recently, which target content for children as well as content for live video gaming, a popular genre on YouTube.
The move to subscription-based revenue streams is becoming increasingly common in the tech industry, due largely to issues with piracy and ad-blocking services that are hurting revenues from other streams.