YouTube Premium might be a hit – if only because people will pay to save time

For years it has felt that YouTube and advertising were intertwined. Ads are the main source of revenue for YouTube’s abundant creators and rarely will you watch a clip without having to sit through a commercial beforehand these days.

But now, the Google-owned company is offering YouTube Premium, a £11.99 a month subscription service that will bring you ad-free videos and loads of shiny features. The new service is a rebrand of YouTube’s original ad-free utility called YouTube Red. But Premium is now here and serves to change the way people view the company and watch videos.

Along with the ad-free experience so many viewers crave — with viewing capabilities expanding to more and more platforms that go beyond the smartphone — YouTube Premium comes with a long list of features that will only further entice potential customers. With a monthly subscription, you’ll get YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids — all free from ads, of course.

One huge benefit of Premium is likely to be the music side. With a subscription comes a free Google Play Music account, a natural competitor with Spotify and Apple Music that offers countless songs and podcasts, as does YouTube Music. There is said to be a plan in place for the two to merge soon.

So, along with watching ad-free videos, subscribers will have the ability to listen to music without interruptive commercials. Moreover, YouTube Premium will also allow videos to play in the background when the user switches to another app. Not only will you be able to check a text message without pausing the clip, but music fans will be capable of listening to a song will doing whatever else. The music benefits of this service are substantial.

Another feature: downloading videos for later offline viewing. For those who take the tube to work or have to watch their data usage, they can now download videos onto their smartphone and watch them while offline. This is something that Netflix has offered in the past, so it’s apparent YouTube is taking notes from its industry counterparts.

Lastly, those who subscribe to YouTube Premium will have access to exclusive videos, shows and movies specifically made by YouTube that won’t be available to non-subscribers.

The bottom line, though, is advertising. In our ever-quickening, fast-paced society, it seems every second counts. So spending 15 seconds to hear from a sponsor is significant, especially when considering how many videos some watch a day.

Undoubtedly, loads of people will spring for Premium just for this purpose. It’s undeniable that more people will watch videos more if they don’t have ads – indeed, the 2018 World Cup has proven that.

With 4.9 million subscribers, FIFATV is thriving on YouTube, and there’s no greater proof than the match highlight videos it posts. For every World Cup game, FIFATV posts a two to three minute highlight clip that summarises the action.

These videos are wildly successful — Saudi Arabia v Egypt, a match between two lowly ranked teams with no stakes to speak of, racked up 3.7 million views — and a contributor to that has to be the fact that there are no ads before the videos. FIFATV knows no one wants to watch an add before a two minute video, and their numbers are thriving because of it. Though it must be said that FIFA, as a governing body, are hardly on YouTube to make quick ad cash.

In the end, YouTube Premium could be a hit – if only because we know people will shell out money if it saves them time.

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