Google-owned video streaming giant YouTube unwrapped its new subscription based service Red on Wednesday. While most of the news coverage focused on the fact that the ad-free video service will cost $9.99 a month, there are a lot of other interesting facts to consider about the new service. Here are ten of the biggest things you need to know, although it's likely other things will emerge as the service and its features are completely rolled out over the upcoming months.
1) YouTube Red May Cost $12.99 A Month For Apple's iOS Users
Most people don't realize that Apple currently charges a $3-per-month "surcharge" for Apple App Store subscriptions. YouTube confirmed late Wednesday that the current plan is to pass along the charge to iOS users, although they are still negotiating with Apple in hopes of getting the fee waived. It's also possible they could opt for a workaround similar to the way Spotify handles App Store subscriptions. But that's a less elegant approach and it's apparently seen as a last resort.
2) Most, But Not All YouTube Video Content Will Be Available Ad-Free On YouTube Red
YouTube had to renegotiate contracts with every content holder in order to gain the ability to include them ad-free as part of YouTube's Red subscription plan. It was able to get nearly every major media company to sign on by offering them a larger fee per video played. The one major media company hold out seems to be Disney and as of Wednesday their vast collection of content wasn't part of the YouTube Red presentation. A spokesperson for YouTube said late Wednesday that the company is convinced Disney will eventually agree to the new deal. But, as they say in the traditional television world, "stay tuned."
3) Smaller Content Holders Were Forced To Sign On With YouTube Red 'Or Else'
So how was YouTube able to convinced the smaller YouTube "partners" to agree to the new terms? By threatening them with the removal of their videos from the advertising-supported version of YouTube. Participants on the YouTube partner plan (which allows content holders to monetize their videos) were told that if they didn't agree to participate in YouTube Red, their YouTube channels and videos would be set to "private." Which would essentially make them invisible to the outside world.
4) The YouTube Red App Looks A Lot Like The Current YouTube App
The three-tabbed app will allows users to easily switch back-and-forth between videos and music. You can create playlist by "favoriting" video and music and offline downloading of music will also be available to subscribers. There will also be artist pages of some sort for the music side, although many of those features still haven't been publicly unveiled.
5) YouTube Music Replaces YouTube 'Music Key'
There is still a lot left to learn about the music side of YouTube Red. We do know that it replaces YouTube's Music Key service, which never left Beta status. Much of the music component will apparently roll out in the U.S. after the official October 28th launch of Red. It will then roll out in stages internationally throughout 2016 and into 2017.
6) Google Music Play All Access Will Be Included As Part Of YouTube Red...Probably
YouTube executives said on Wednesday that Google Play Music All Access will be included in YouTube Red premium account costs. But it's not known if that will be the case on October 29th or how that will all be integrated together into one package.
7) YouTube Red Will Have A Free, One-Month Trial Window
YouTube has confirmed Red will offer a free one-month trial, although it's not clear whether that trial will require potential subscribers to include credit card info in order to access the free trial.
8) YouTube Red Is VERY Different Than RedTube
While it doesn't seem to worry YouTube executives, there is a very big long-running video pron web site called RedTube.