For a price, YouTube users may never have to sit though another pre-roll video or swat at pesky pop-up banners.
The Google-owned video site is considering a subscription service that would remove all advertisements. “We’re thinking about how to give users options,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference this week. Still, Wojcicki didn’t have any details on pricing or time frame. It’s also unclear how revenue sharing with content creators might work.
Wojcicki also acknowledged that YouTube is “working on” a music subscription service, but wouldn’t offer a timeline for that either. Rumors of a YouTube music service started popping up in early 2013, but the company is likely having trouble getting labels and artists on board. A report from this summer claimed that indie labels were outraged by YouTube’s hardball tactics.
If the music service does launch, it will likely become a supplement to Google’s existing Play Music All Access plan, all rolled into the same $10 per month subscription.
The story behind the story: YouTube has been trying for years to bring in more non-ad revenue. In addition to the rumored music service, YouTube has dabbled in movie rentals, pay-per-view live streams, and paywalls for individual channels. A rumor last year even claimed YouTube was talking to the NFL about showing out-of-market football games. But in the end, YouTube’s easiest path to ad-free revenue may also be the most obvious. The challenge will be to get the price right, so viewers are interested and creators are still fairly compensated.