Do you remember a time in youtube where ads weren’t around? There were no commercials, and everything was better. But then the dark days came. Commercials flooded youtube, and we were forced to watched minute long ads. These were dark times indeed, but light eventually finds a way. Ad blockers allowed people to watch content uninterrupted. This was a good thing until you look at the other side of the story. Youtubers are able to put out the quality and quantity of videos because of the money they are making from ads. Ad blockers take away money from them, and lowers the quantity and quality of the videos. Thus came along youtube red, a response to the swarm of ad blockers.
Youtube Red, for those of you that may not know, is a ad-free service that costs $10 a month. It is, in many ways similar to what tv did. People didn’t want commercials for their favorite TV shows, thus the advent of services like TiVo. This shows youtube moving away from it’s traditional ad driven format towards a self sustaining and user funded approach. Such changes are comparable to Hulu, a website for TV shows. There are actually a lot of similarities here, with Hulu also starting commercial free, then moving to commercials, then transitioning to commercials with the possibility of signing up for a membership to receive ad free stuff. Very similar to what youtube is doing now. So much so that I think they might have looked at the success of Hulu and started moving towards that model. Though this is just a theory.
Now, I have a confession to make. About a year ago, I was working in a kitchen. I worked cleaning dishes and sweeping up. It was just me for about 4 hours and I listened to my phone using youtube for music, but it was melting though my battery, and would spend about an hour in silence, because I had to keep youtube open. Then I got a offer from youtube, it said that I had been selected to test an ad free version of youtube. At first I was almost entirely sure it was some kind of scam, but I've been using it for a year, so if it is, bravo on the complexity.
One of the features of this new service was being able to play while the phone was off. It fixed the only problem I had with that job and I still work there when I get back home from college. Now about that congestion. This service was a free thing. It still works, and to this day I have never paid anything for. I haven’t seen a commercial on youtube in a year. I’m praying that they don’t take this away from me, cause it is really nice not to have to pay for this.
I feel uniquely qualified to review Youtube Red, because I have experienced it first hand for a year. Ad free is really nice. I’m sure many of you share this view. That’s why as blockers where such a huge problem that it needed to be solved by youtube. Youtube red provides this while improving the quality of videos. This way you don’t have to feel a little bad for not supporting youtubers. Some people used patreon, but this is more of a direct source kinda deal. It allows the general youtube content creators to make money, and doesn’t shove ads down peoples thoughts. I think it is a pretty good solution that everyone should get behind. Except for me. For me, i’ll just stay as still as possible and hope the youtube tech department doesn’t notice me.