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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Google plans UK launch of paid-for YouTube Red service

Google is planning to launch a paid version of YouTube in the UK in the 2017, as the internet giant expands its competitor to Netflix and Amazon’s subscription video services
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YouTube Red, which was first released in the US last year and has since expanded to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea, allows subscribers to watch videos without viewing adverts beforehand, as well as gaining access to a roster of exclusive shows.

Google is understood to be in negotiations with rights holders about bringing the service to the UK and other European markets in 2017, although YouTube Red’s launch is not a certainty and is dependent on signing deals with music labels.

Sections of the music industry have expressed disappointment at the revenues earned from advertising on YouTube, where music videos are among the most popular content. The site paid out $1bn (£800m) to the industry last year, but critics say the service pays a paltry amount compared to how much is consumed on it.

As well as removing adverts on currently-available videos, YouTube Red, expected to cost £9.99 a month in the UK, is positioned as a competitor to other online video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It gives viewers access to a range of original shows and films from independent videom

It also allows subscribers to download shows to watch offline and in the background on smartphones, and includes access to Google Play Music, the company’s music streaming competitor to Spotify and Apple Music. It is believed the new revenue model, as well as features such as video downloads, can require contracts to be renegotiated.

According to reports, YouTube Red had around 1.5m paying subscribers in the summer, a long way behind rival services. Google did not comment.

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