Could YouTube kill Netflix?

Ben Rayner
April 9, 2015

Any one who’s been onto YouTube or any dedicated catch up service knows the pain of adverts.

You’ve just found the perfect entertainment for the evening, or the latest mobiles news and then bang. Another lengthy advert to ruin your viewing pleasure.

Well, those days are soon to be officially over. If you’re willing to pony up some cash that is.

YouTube informed their partners through an email recently that they plan to roll out an ad-free subscription service. While we don’t have any real idea of the price plan as of yet, it’s clear that google plan to share some of their profits with YouTubers.

After all, if they didn’t there’d be quite the up roar and a few less Pewdie-Pies out there.

The email to YouTube partners explains:

“Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we’ve taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we’ve seen tremendous engagement.” 

“We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favour of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue.”

Obviously this isn’t the first time that YouTube has dabbled with subscription models as the video behemoth launched the YouTube Music Key streaming service last year as well as offering creators the chance to lock content for a price.

The bigger news here however is the threat this could pose to Netflix. With the YouTube brand already massive and well known across a wide variety of demographics, it wouldn’t be a far cry for Google to take advantage of its vast connections and start producing exclusive content much like Netflix have with their slew of original series.

This could be an exciting time for us as consumers, perhaps not so much for the companies getting ready to butt heads.


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