The arrival of original content on YouTube Red enters the platform into the non-traditional media arms race.
Original content on YouTube Red has finally arrived.
Last October, YouTube unveiled its new premium service, YouTube Red. At launch time, the paid service only gave users the privilege of watching videos without advertisements and the ability to save and watch videos offline for up to 30 days.
For a $10 monthly charge, many considered this a shameless money grab. And to be completely honest, they weren’t really wrong. Savvy Internet users have already been able to download videos and bypass advertisements for years. For those reasons and many more, YouTube Red flopped. Big time. The one hope for the premium service was the promise for exclusive original content on YouTube Red.
After four months of waiting, the bigwigs at the most popular video-sharing platform in the world made good on their promise, and original content on YouTube Red is finally here.
With the new line of original content on YouTube Red, the platform has joined the new wave of non-traditional media outlets such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime in the quest for something unique to fill their respective screens. And who could blame them? After all, Netflix earned almost $6.8 billion in 2015. While the business models of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Alphabet Inc. (the parent company of Google, which is the parent company of YouTube) are very different, the sheer amount of cash shows that there is a whole lot of profit to be had in original content.
So now that the first wave of original content on YouTube Red has been released, how is it? The reviews have been mixed. However, all the Internet “critics” have had one common comment: all the content feels like YouTube, which is what the platform was hoping for. To date, all the original content on YouTube Red has stemmed from established YouTube personalities.
A Trip to Unicorn Island is a documentary following the 30-city comedy tour of YouTube star Lilly Singh, a personality with nearly 8 million subscribers to her channel. The feature-length comedy Lazer Team stars the cast of Rooster Teeth, a YouTube channel turned production company with almost 8.5 million subscribers.
Do you think the home-grown style of YouTube Red’s original content will become profitable? Voice your opinion in the comment section below!