Youtube has been the king of internet videos since its creation in 2005. Now, the company is upping their game with the addition of Youtube Red. This Googlepowered venture promises to bring another revolution to world of streaming video, but is it right for you? Check out these perks and pitfalls before signing up.
While Youtube Red may represent itself as a one size fits all approach for content creators, the service may be at its best when it comes to the site’s stars. Some of the most promoted celebrities involved with the service include:
- Joey Graceffa
- Meg DeAngelis
- Lilly Singh
- The Fine Brothers
With the site’s backing, these and other “top tier artists” are producing first run shows and content on par with competitors like NetflixandHulu. Still, it’s not without a bit of controversy.
Even supporter PewDiePie was forced to defend the service’s treatment of lesser known creators. In a post titled “Thoughts on YouTube Red“, the personality pointed to the use of adblockers as a reason for users to turn to the service. It’s more of an anecdotal piece that relies on polls and secondhand information, but still a good read for anyone considering pay vs. free services.
Along with these artists come special programming and originals that can only be accessed through the service. No surprise, PewDiePiewas the first creator to be signed to a series. Other series branch out of the normal reality trend and try some cutting edge material. If you’re looking for classic fare, this is probably a skip it moment.
Think Youtube Red is the perfect start for your career as a streaming superstar. Come back to earth for this one, it isn’t. There’s more to it than just using a name generatorto create your online persona. In fact, newcomers will be asked to sign up for Red and its services, but prospects are pretty low for new arrivals.
Lower tiered content creators can expect little to no help and no promotion for their trouble. Even if you don’t choose to subscribe to the service, you’ll be forced to revenue share through the program. Tech Crunch used the term “coercion” to describe the effort. We’ll leave it at that.
Hey, it doesn’t mean you can’t try. Remember, just leaving those witty and humorous comments on other videos are still free. Plus, they are a great way to reach new Youtube Red subscribers as well as users still accessing videos through the free site.
Speaking of advertising, there’s nothing more annoying than stopping and starting a video because of an ill-timed ad. In fact, one the most common complaints among users is the growing amount of advertising. It’s become such a problem that companies are even making money selling software that shows businesses how to target you. That’s why YouTube Red’s biggest selling point is an ad-free experience.
Basically, you can kiss those before content and after content ads that always seem to crash the video goodbye. Hate pop-up banner ads? It does away with those too. All in all, this is a winning element of the service. Of course, Youtube can’t control product placement in videos, so there is always a chance advertisers will insert ads into the content itself.
In the past, our search for great music sent us to online music streaming services like Pandora, but music videos have always been a part of Youtube. Whether you love country crooners or rap superstars, there’s a good chance your favorite artist already has a page.
When it comes to music, Youtube Red actually transforms into a clone of its music based competitors. You’ll find a lot of options that are seen throughout the Spotifys and Tidals of the world. The audio mode is pretty standard with videos playing as if they were tracks. Volume and track selection is fairly easy to control, even when the app is not appearing on screen. Stations promise a radio feel, but come off as more of a carefully curated playlist. Apparently, the provided set of stations learns from your listening sessions and adjust their recommendations.
That brings us to offline use. Videos can be downloaded and played for up to 30 days. Apparently, Youtube Red thinks we can do without storing our favorite tracks for an extended amount of time. To be fair, most competitors also have limits on offline use, so don’t expect any perks when it comes to this category.
Google is also making Youtube Red a sweeter deal for music enthusiasts by adding a subscription to their Google Play Music service. There’s no extra charge, so there’s no reason to ignore this feature if you sign up. You might be surprised how accessible and fun this service is. Tech Insider’s Gus Lubin even described it as “a robust array of features and some powerful bonuses.” Keep in mind, this added perk may be for a limited time only and Google reserves the right to remove it at any time.
You wouldn’t buy something in a store without knowing its return policy, so it’s only logical that you’d want to know about Youtube Red’s refund terms and conditions.
While it’s stated that users can cancel at any time, getting your money back may not be as easy. Excuses such as late cancellation or failure to communicate cancellation are often cited during disputed charges. CBS News even stated that Apple users must jump through another hoop and “go through Apple to get a refund.”
Youtube Red may be exciting for some and an expensive waste of time for others. The choice will ultimately depend on what users like yourself are really searching for when it comes to streaming video. No matter what happens, it’s a safe bet to say that Youtube in some form will continue giving us the cute animals, strange recipes and hilarious pranks we all love.