YouTube Rethinks Premium Service

YouTube Rethinks Premium Service
Google plans to offer its Premium subscription service with ads for free.

(CCM) — YouTube appears to be turning its back on the $11.99 per month Premium subscription service that it launched just a few months ago.

It is now planning to offer all its YouTube Originals content, including Karate Kid spinoff Cobra Kai, free to everybody from January 2019. The company hopes to generate revenue by showing advertisements with its original content, according to a MarketWatch report.

The company is also planning to cut down on original content spending from 2020, according to the report.

YouTube has not published any subscriber numbers for Premium, but anecdotal evidence suggests that they are not high. Google's budget for creating original content is believed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which is far less than the billions of dollars invested by rivals Amazon and Netflix to attract subscribers to their respective services.

Officially YouTube says that the reason for the change is to "meet the growing demand of a more global fanbase." It has not said whether it intends to abandon the subscription side of the service altogether at some point in the future.

Google Premium was originally launched on Oct. 31, 2015 as YouTube Red. It was rebranded as YouTube Premium in May 2018.

Image: © YouTube.