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How quickly do you look for that button anytime a pre-roll ad starts playing on YouTube? It’s the reality that YouTube currently faces, that most users click that handy button, meaning far less revenue reaches the video creators.
While YouTube’s revenue continues to grow, video ads are considerably more lucrative than traditional text ads thus creating more competition, with Facebook fast on the heels of Google’s service. So with that in mind it shouldn’t seem too surprising that further exploration into monetization would exist.
YouTube remains the world’s biggest source of music streaming, and while most record labels play ball on YouTube’s platform, the relationship is apparently strained which likely increases pressure on YouTube to be able to return more money to content owners who publish on the platform.
With that in mind, according to The Verge, YouTube is reportedly working on building a paywall that would remove ads for subscribers as well as entice potential content producers with a bigger financial cut. YouTube could also use this paywall to offer publishers a way to create premium and exclusive versions of their content only available to paid subscribers.
But Spotify has already been fighting the difficult battle of trying to convince freeloaders to upgrade their accounts (self admission, I still haven’t upgraded to premium Spotify, although the increased ad distribution certainly is pushing me that direction). Anecdotally, I don’t know that many people who use YouTube for their daily music consumption, especially on Mobile, where Pandora, Spotify and now Apple Music seem to hold the most power.
With enough focus, certainly YouTube could compete with other major services, but judging by the marketing of Google Play, Google’s relatively under-promoted music and movie streaming service, it’s kind of hard to imagine some magical focus on properly marketing an entirely new subscription offering.
Would you be willing to pay for an ad-free experience on YouTube? At what price point would you consider a monthly subscription a worthy trade off to never see an ad?