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Youtube The Almighty Buck

YouTube To Offer Subscription Service This Week 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the david-after-dentist-fee dept.
jfruh writes "According to an email from a Google spokesman, YouTube will be offering a $1.99/month subscription service as early as this week. This service will 'bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content,' though there was no indication of what content will be offered through the service exactly. YouTube has offered rentals for specific videos before but this is the first time the service would go head-to-head with subscription services like Netflix."
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YouTube To Offer Subscription Service This Week

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:54AM (#43641015)

    The Slashdot vote [slashdot.org] was pretty clear!

    • While the poll may be a valid indicator of what the tech crowd desires, it's not a good indicator for the general public.
      Plus, the rules are different now.
      It seems clear that the basic YouTube service will be free. The pay service will be for premium content. There seems to be less resistance to that.
      • Re:Of course not (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rudy_wayne (414635) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:16AM (#43641227)

        It seems clear that the basic YouTube service will be free. The pay service will be for premium content.

        "Premium Content". I laugh every time I hear that phrase.

        What exactly would this "Premium Content" be? What do they have in that crappy little window that is so wonderful and "Premium" that I will gladly pay them for it?

      • I doubt it will really change much because people can still monetize their channels with adverts. Some will try to make the extra money grab with premium content, as you say, but I doubt many will.

        So long as the subscription is actually monthly and doesn't require any long term commitment, I wouldn't have a problem paying if I noticed something that I really wanted to see. It might even provide motivation for better content.
        • I can see organizations such as the BBC warming to this, I'd pay $2/mo for access to the BBC Earth archives and I'm sure UK taxpayers would gladly take it.
        • by hedwards (940851)

          If there are ads, then what's the point of it? I can already hook youtube up to a TV, I'm not sure what the point of a subscription rate is if I'm going to have to see ads anways.

          OTOH, at $2 a month, at least it isn't as expensive as Hulu that makes you watch ads on most stuff and holds back programming until it's not as useful to watch anymore.

  • Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teppy (105859) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:01AM (#43641087) Homepage
    I'd definitely pay $2/month to remove the damn ads. Same goes for Hulu - why don't they have this option?
    • by omglolbah (731566)

      in-fucking-deed....

      Especially since they seem to have no tailoring to my interest so I get tons of ads for cruises, crappy insurance and other completely uninteresting things.
      It has gotten annoying enough in some cases to make me download the clips in bulk via scripting instead of using the website... sigh

      • Especially since they seem to have no tailoring to my interest

        You're right that YouTube video ads tend to be only vaguely targeted, even though I haven't disabled Google's various tracking mechanisms. Google has done a lot better job targeting its text ads. I gather from an ad that has been shown to me a few times about the benefits of advertising your business with video that perhaps Google is hurting for video advertisers.

        • by omglolbah (731566)

          They are in Norway.

          In an evening of watching VOD starcraft matches I would get the same 2-3 video ads on every video change.

          It is not that the ads are THAT annoying, it is that you've already seen em 8-10 times already in a single day...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 24-bit Voxel (672674)

        What I do is when my show starts, I just take click toward the end of the show, after the last commercial but before the end. (Don't let it hit the very end.)

        A commercial will play, then put I'll it back at the beginning. Enjoy a commercial free show from that point forward.

        Hitting reload resets and you have to start over. I use Opera but I imagine it works with any browser.

    • Re:Ads (Score:4, Informative)

      by rudy_wayne (414635) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:16AM (#43641233)

      I'd definitely pay $2/month to remove the damn ads

      Or just use AdBlock.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        This. I wondered why people were complaining about ads before YouTube videos as I never got them. Adblock just transparently makes them disappear. Same goes for ads in Facebook, Google search results, etc...

        • Re:Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dunezone (899268) on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:10AM (#43642571) Journal
          Because if everyone started using Adblock these websites would disappear or force people into a subscription. A large portion of their operating costs are supported by the advertisements that Adblock will block.
          • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 06, 2013 @01:22PM (#43645093) Homepage Journal

            Because if everyone started using Adblock these websites would disappear or force people into a subscription. A large portion of their operating costs are supported by the advertisements that Adblock will block.

            If they can't exist without ads I can't block, then I don't care if they can exist. I simply refuse to give up my brain to advertising. I need that space for minecraft and Doctor Who.

          • by iampiti (1059688)
            Please, someone mod parent up. I can't believe people are so selfish: These sites give you content in exange for ads, if you don't like the deal just don't go there.
            • by Mashiki (184564)

              Please, someone mod parent up. I can't believe people are so selfish: These sites give you content in exange for ads, if you don't like the deal just don't go there.

              I'd happily accept ads, providing that I knew they weren't going to infect my machine with malware of some kind. So until that happens, no ads. Perhaps said companies should get their act in order, and fix the "we're going to let shady companies advertise on our networks" problem. There's nothing selfish in that, it's prevention and removal of a headache. In the very worst cases with that malware mentioned above, it requires a nuking of the OS. I have no desire to deal with that anymore.

            • if you don't like the deal just don't go there.

              Which is obviously much more beneficial for them, because that way they get less ad impressions and less word of mouth.

              These sites give you content in exange for ads

              No they don't, they give advertisers potential sales in exchange for money. You are the product being sold to advertisers. There is no burden of responsibility on the user's part to purchase anything from the advertisers, or to look at the ads. It's the burden of responsibility of the site to give you a compelling reason to be their product. Bombarding the user with easily circumvented malw

        • by exomondo (1725132)
          So everybody should install AdBlock to stop the site's revenue stream and then complain when they replace ads with a paywall?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gencha (1020671)
        Yeah, exactly. He wants to pay for a service. LOL! What an idiot. AMIRITE?
        • by exomondo (1725132)
          Yeah! It should all be free but supported by ads, but i'm smart so i'll show those greedy corporations that they can't advertise to me by using adblock! No way i'm using 0.00000001 cents worth of my internet quota to download an ad to help pay for the content that i'm getting, all content should be free because information wants to be free!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by slashmydots (2189826)
      If you look at Hulu's gross income as a company vs # of subscribers times the subscription cost, you'd be paying A LOT of money to not see ads. Hulu is basically a miniature TV channel where the per use cost is low and the ad revenues are everything. Netflix is like a horrible business plan that only picks up worthless, awful movies and horribly outdated TV shows then throws in one mega hit once in a while to attempt to impress people. Really, neither work. At $1.99 instead of Netflix prices, Youtube ca
      • Re:Ads (Score:5, Funny)

        by JWW (79176) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:30AM (#43641349)

        Yeah, youtube has nothing that anyone wants to watch. They ought to just shut it down already, its just a wasteland with no viable content at all.....

        • Re:Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dzfoo (772245) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:39AM (#43642183)

          I think he meant it has nothing that anybody wants to pay to watch. It's popular right now because it's free, but cat videos may not pay the hosting service by themselves.

        • by jeffy210 (214759)

          Yeah, youtube has nothing that anyone wants to watch. They ought to just shut it down already, its just a wasteland with no viable content at all.....

          Can't tell if troll, sarcastic or informative....

      • by Teppy (105859)
        Yeah, how much? I'd bet my time is worth far more than the ad revenue they get from me. For instance, Super Bowl ads this year averaged $4M/minute to reach an audience of 111M viewers. So that's $4.34/hour/viewer. For the Super Bowl. So let's assume the cat-video-watching audience is worth more than the Super Bowl watching audience. For my $2/month subscription I'd be able to skip 25 minutes of solid ads. Again, no-brainer, at least for me.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        A large part of the problem with those services is that they suck. Netflix's streaming library is still tiny compared with it's disc library, but the cost is the same. It blew my mind that people weren't going to be outraged by the change to online only for the same price as the disc service.

        Similarly for Hulu, you have to watch ads either way, subscription gets you the ability to watch some of it on your TV, and programs may well still be delayed, unless you're a subscriber to one of the partner TV provide

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nimbius (983462)
      http://adblockplus.org/ [adblockplus.org]
      that'll be $2 please.
    • Re:Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xemu (50595) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:43AM (#43641507) Homepage

      I'd definitely pay $2/month to remove the damn ads. Same goes for Hulu - why don't they have this option?

      It will go the same way as cable. First you pay $2/month to remove the ads. Then you pay $4,$8,$16 and then they put the ads back in as well.

    • Youtube has advertising? Dang - I didn't know that. I just opened my Youtube home page. Black Mambas, funniest racist commercial, DDG gunnery exercise, stupid motorcycle riders, Bagram air crash, Arab Olympics fail, Thanatamersis, Nixie Pixel, Hippo destroys lion pride - - - Tons of stuff, but no advertisements. Maybe advertisers don't support Netgear routers that have been flashed or something? Here, have a nice Tomato, prepared by Toastman!

    • Obligatory (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CriminalNerd (882826) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:21AM (#43641985)

      You're just one step closer to the dystopian future of the all-despising baby skull: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2490 [smbc-comics.com]

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Interestingly some platforms don't support ads, such as my Panasonic smart TV. It never displays any advertising at all, and I doubt it will ever be "fixed".

      Someone needs to come up with a working ad-blocker for the Android YouTube app.

    • Re:Ads (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:58AM (#43642433)

      I'd pay $2/mo to get rid of all the "featured" panels on the interface and all the juvenile crap from teenage morons that cater to a massive mouth-breathing audience of children (I keep seeing shit from guys named Fred and Tobuscus and Pewdiepie and other crap all the time). For that matter, dump all the "boobs and brain-dead response videos" crap and I'll definitely pay $2/mo for what's left.

      I primarily watch stuff like lectures from Stanford, hardware demos, high end hardware builds being benchmarked, etc. Yet, what do they keep spamming me with? Fucking idiot teenagers spending 20 minutes showing you how to do your makeup or spending ten minutes showing you everything they just bought at the mall (seriously, this is apparently a whole genre of videos now).

      How can a company with such a claim to targeted advertising now get this shit right?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The mating call of the entitled narcissist.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        I'm pretty sure they've got it right. Those things would likely make you less unfriendly and a bit more socially acceptable.

    • by antdude (79039)

      I don't get why Hulu Plus still has ads for paying members, but then cable TV and others have ads too. Originally, they didn't! Lame. I doubt YouTube will remove ads for paid subscribers. :P

  • This service will 'bring even more great content to YouTube

    That made me laugh. "Great content on Youtube" is today's latest oxymoron.

    • Re:Great Content (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:32AM (#43641377) Journal

      If you know where to look, there's lots of great content on YouTube. Personally, I enjoy watching Matt Chat [youtube.com], Lazy Game Reviews [youtube.com], and Classic Game Room HD [youtube.com], more than anything on TV. If you're a smart person who wants to share your passion with the world, YouTube is a much better place to do that than any television network.

      • If you know where to look, there's lots of great content on YouTube. Personally, I enjoy watching Matt Chat [youtube.com], Lazy Game Reviews [youtube.com], and Classic Game Room HD [youtube.com], more than anything on TV.

        Yes, I suppose this is true, if you have a very loose definition of "great".

      • My thoughts exactly, especially with young children. My 4 year old loves some of the things I have found on you tube for him. There is a danish guy who works as an operating engineer and has a number of good quality hi def videos of machines working on construction sites. Toss in some videos made by companies that produce heavy machines as well as some videos of various obscure races (hill climbs, mud bogging, etc) and he loves it. These are things that are rare or unheard of on even cable TV with however m
    • There are some awesome tutorials up there. Also sometimes I just randomly choose a playlist and let it run in the background for stumbling across good music. Currently listening to the fresh style of Xtortion Audio ---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41ngnsC8w4E [youtube.com]

    • by exomondo (1725132)
      Yeah nothing that's popular is good, everything mainstream sucks, the only good things are the things that are unpopular and not mainstream.
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:23AM (#43641277)
    I think that Google first proved that they are capable of delivering pretty 1080p video without stuttering, while leaving you the option for 720p if your internet or playback device can't handle 1080p. We'll see what content they will be offering, but I'm pretty sure about one thing: People are comfortable with Youtube as a video delivery system. You can bet that there will be living room devices that will seamlessly treat your subscribed Youtube channels as regular TV channels. Hopefully, future Youtube Android apps will allow you to pre-buffer the premium content so that you can watch it even when you don't have a good connection, for example, on a bus. If some of their subscriptions were things like Discovery Channel, ESPN and Comedy Central, how many people would drop their cable TV altogether? If these channels were on premium Youtube, the living room experience of watching them would be undiminished compared to cable TV, and all kinds of new options for VOD and watching on portable devices would open up. If Google does this right, the only people that will continue subscribing to cable TV will be luddites who can't be bothered to make Youtube work in their living room.
    • Oh that's a good idea. Your favourite shows could load themselves automatically when they are released each week, so you come home from work and whatever is ready is all set to go without any interaction from yourself. Pick whatever you want to watch or leave it for later, very convenient.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      My ISP (Virgin Media) actually copes better with 1080p because they cache it inside their network. 720p often stutters because it is uncached. Unfortunately some devices don't let you select 1080p over 720p, such as my phone. It makes sense because the phone's screen is "only" 720p, but they didn't count on Virgin being crap.

    • It's kind of interesting because the industry has already come up with a solution for this. They allow streaming to mobile devices, but first got to log in with your cable/sat provider's info to verify you subscribe to their service. I know a couple years ago my Dad had a package with everything including all the HBO's. I signed in my iPad under his account and was able to watch the first season of Games of Thrones on my iPad through HBO GO.

      Truth is there is starting become a blur between content provide

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Monday May 06, 2013 @08:37AM (#43641449)
    I'm on a 50 mb/sec internet connection and can't stream youtube movies above 360p without the movie stopping every couple of minutes due to buffer underrun. I've no issues with amazon prime, hulu or netflix movies. I don't know why this only happens with youtube. I don't see why I'd be paying $1.99/month.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Blacklist your ISP's local mirrors.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Mind elaborating on this and how it relates to youtube vids?

    • by alen (225700)

      Netflix and others use what's called a CDN, content delivery network. they have servers inside the ISP's networks with the content. you never actually stream from the internet.

      YouTube is all inside Google's infrastructure so anything you stream from youtube you use your ISP's internet backbone. I think Amazon is the same way since its glitchy for me as well.

      this is why i stream all my content from Netflix and itunes. they use a CDN and i get the best quality and performance.

      • by swillden (191260)

        YouTube is all inside Google's infrastructure so anything you stream from youtube you use your ISP's internet backbone.

        Google also has caching servers forward-deployed with the major ISPs. Also, Google peers directly with many ISPs, so data doesn't flow over the ISP's connection to the backbone.

        http://blogs.broughturner.com/2009/04/googles-peering-and-caching-strategy.html

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 06, 2013 @09:10AM (#43641847)
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That nonsense has been debunked numerous times. Reddit latched on to the "workaround" [reddit.com], but if you actually read the full thread -- not skim it -- you will find intelligent network-savvy folks commenting on its idiocy. The person who came up with this "workaround" doesn't understand things like DNS load balancing, anycast, and other methodologies Youtube deploys (including back-end stuff) to accomplish load balancing. You might also be surprised to know Youtube's Flash applet (not sure about the HTML 5 st

    • I had a 6 mb/sec connection and could stream 720p without issue from you tube and if I let it buffer up for a bit could do 1080p without issue. Then my old ISP started mucking with stuff and I had all sorts of goofey errors like being unable to connect to DNS servers sometimes, and connection time outs. Dumped them like a bad habit and went with the other option in town who seems to at the moment be offering better service quality.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      A common trick used by content providers is to have the same DNS entry resolve to different IP addresses in different parts of the internet so that you'll get content from a sever close to you.

      This doesn't seem to be working out for you.

      I suggest trying a different DNS provider and see what happens. Try using google's own DNS if you're not (set your DNS to 8.8.8.8) or, if you are, try using the ISPs.
      You'll probably need to flush your DNS in the operating system and probably restart your browser to clear it

      • by csumpi (2258986)
        Thanks for all the suggestions. I wish I could edit my original post to add this information.

        I'm not using my ISP's dns servers (Verizon). I'm using these DNS servers:

        8.8.8.8
        8.8.4.4

        These are google's servers, so unless Verizon has some tricks around them, I don't think DNS is the issue.
    • If you're in the EU, and specifically using France's Freebox [arstechnica.com], the ISPs are basically are at war with Google and neither Google or the ISPs want to pay for the pipes required to access Youtube comfortably. I have Free, and during peak times, there is definitely a slowdown in Youtube.
    • Paying even a trivial fee like $1.99/month will lead users to claim higher levels of satisfaction with the service which is good for Google. It's been shown empirically over and over that we come to value those things which we pay for more than those which are free.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Monday May 06, 2013 @10:12AM (#43642601) Homepage

      It's probably your ISP's fault. I know my ISP, Virgin Media, breaks Youtube.

      What tends to happen is that the ISP notices a lot of traffic coming from YouTube. So they call up Google and get some caching servers installed inside their network just to handle YouTube video. All YouTube traffic is intercepted and redirected to these caches and for about five minutes all is well. Then YouTube traffic doubles in a year but the ISP makes no effort to upgrade its caches and everything grinds to a halt.

      • by Inda (580031)
        I've seen plenty of workarounds for this issue. Bypassing the cache is the theme of them all.

        I too am on Virgin Media, but I don't use YouTube enough to make this workaround worth the hassle.
  • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Triv (181010) on Monday May 06, 2013 @11:32AM (#43643679) Journal

    This seemed fishy considering the market, so I did some poking around and, surprise!: not only does the summary totally mangle the facts of the rumor - Youtube is supposedly going to start offering premium CHANNELS for 1.99/month EACH, not a Hulu or Netflix-type broad subscription - but it's only a rumor that google has neither confirmed nor denied.

    http://consumerist.com/2013/05/06/report-youtube-introducing-paid-subscription-channels-soon/ [consumerist.com]

    Good job.

  • At this (rental) rate, in twenty years it will be explicitly illegal to own any type of media.
  • ...that as soon as the subscription service is up, a significant amount of formerly free content will suddenly become subscription only?

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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