Josh Constine, TechCrunch:
Today YouTube confirmed that any “partner” creator who earns a cut of ad revenue but doesn’t agree to sign its revenue share deal for its new YouTube Red $9.99 ad-free subscription will have their videos hidden from public view on both the ad-supported and ad-free tiers. That includes videos by popular comedians, musicians, game commentators, and DIY instructors, though not the average person that uploads clips.
When a company has this kind of market dominance, they can operate with this kind of heavy hand. Online video is YouTube, in the way that tablets are iPads, and MP3 players are iPods.
I’ve been thinking about YouTube Red ever since the idea of an ad-free subscription to the site was floated a while ago, and I have no clue as to how successful it will be. The bundling of ad-free music streaming is compelling, and the addition of exclusive content — like shows from PewDiePie and the Fine Brothers — means there’s a lot for the YouTube-watching crowd. But, while the scope and scale of YouTube personalities’ reach is undeniable, their audience is used to tolerating preroll ads and product placement in exchange for free videos. I wouldn’t pay $10/month to watch ad-free YouTube, mostly because I don’t spend a lot of time on the site and because PewDiePie is irritating enough already.