youtube red

The subscription model trend has reached a new titan in the industry; YouTube Red, YouTube’s new subscription-based service, is available as of October 28. Users on the fence about whether a subscription is worth the expense will have a chance to try a one-month free trial.

When that trial ends, however, there’s a catch for users of the iPhone and iPad apps: the price of $9.99/month jumps up to 12.99/month for iOS users. Why the 30 percent jump? Well, it actually highlights something that usually only iPhone and iPad app developers have to worry about — the fact that Apple charges developers 30 percent off the top of subscription revenues on their platform.

While many mobile apps developers in London and elsewhere opt to swallow the cost in the interest of keeping the experience “fair” across platforms, YouTube seems to have taken something of a stand against the policy by passing the cost on to their end users.

Regardless of price politics, the features of the new subscription app version of the YouTube experience has some compelling benefits. Promotional videos and advertisements for the service have focused heavily on the ad-free experience (certainly a huge bonus for long-form video viewers) and the off-line caching feature (which promises to be useful for flights, commutes, and all those other times when there’s limited Wi-Fi and plenty of down time).

However, app developers will be interested to note that there’s quite a lot more going on under the hood, especially when it comes to music. Subscription to YouTube Red extends to other YouTube services, with statements from the company indicating that they are nursing the project as a competitor to similar streaming services in the music industry. To that end, they’ve secured a get-one-get-one-free partnership with Google Play Music, meaning subscribers to either service get access to the other for free.

For users of the YouTube Red iPad and iPhone apps, the long-term viability of higher iOS pricing remains to be seen. Either way, we can expect that YouTube will push much of their sponsored content from star accounts like CollegeHumor to subscription-only viewership, making the new service difficult for video-starved users to resist.

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