YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is a paid streaming subscription service that provides advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, exclusive original content produced in collaboration with the site's creators, as well as offline playback and playback of videos on mobile devices.[4]

The service was originally launched in November 2014 as Music Key, offering only ad-free streaming of music and music videos from participating labels on YouTube and Google Play Music.[5][6][7] The service was then revised and relaunched as YouTube Red on October 31, 2015, expanding its scope to offer ad-free access to all YouTube videos, as opposed to just music.[8] YouTube announced the rebranding of the service as YouTube Premium on May 17, 2018, alongside the return of a separate, YouTube Music subscription service.[9][10]

YouTube Premium
  • Music Key (2014–2015)
  • YouTube Red (2015–2018)
Subscription service
FoundedNovember 2014 (as Music Key)
October 31, 2015 (as YouTube Red)
901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California, U.S.
Area served
ParentYouTube (Google)


YouTube Red Logo
YouTube Red's logo between 2017 and 2018.

The service was first unveiled in November 2014 as Music Key, serving as a collaboration between YouTube and Google Play Music, and meant to succeed the former's own subscription service. Music Key offered ad-free playback of music videos from participating labels hosted on YouTube, as well as background and offline playback of music videos on mobile devices from within the YouTube app. The service also included access to Google Play Music All Access, which provides ad-free audio streaming of a library of music.[11] Alongside Music Key, Google also introduced tighter integration between Play Music and YouTube's apps, including the sharing of music recommendations, and access to YouTube's music videos from within the Play Music app.[6][7] Music Key was not YouTube's first foray into premium content, having launched film rentals in 2010,[12] and premium, subscription-based channels in 2013.[13]

During its invite-only beta, Music Key faced mixed reception due to the limited scope of the offering; YouTube's chief business officer Robert Kyncl explained that his daughter was confused over why videos of songs from Frozen were not "music" in the scope of the service, and thus not ad-free.[8] These concerns and others led to a revamping of the Music Key concept to create YouTube Red; unlike Music Key, YouTube Red was designed to provide ad-free streaming to all videos, rather than just music content. This shift required YouTube to seek permission from its content creators and rights holders to allow their content to be part of the ad-free service; under the new contract terms, partners would receive a share of the total revenue from YouTube Red subscriptions, as determined by how much their content is viewed by subscribers.[8]

YouTube also sought to compete against sites such as Hulu and Netflix by offering original content as part of the subscription service, leveraging prominent YouTube personalities in combination with professional producers. Robert Kyncl acknowledged that while many of YouTube's prominent personalities had built their followings and created content while operating on a "shoestring budget", he admitted that "in order to scale up, it takes a different kind of enterprise, a different kind of skill set" such as story-telling and "showrunning".[8][14] Prominent YouTube personality PewDiePie, who was involved in one of the planned originals for the service,[14] explained that the service was meant to mitigate profits lost due to the use of ad blocking.[15]

YouTube Red was officially unveiled on October 21, 2015.[8] On May 18, 2016, YouTube Red and YouTube Music launched in Australia and New Zealand, the first countries to gain access to the service outside the United States.[16][17]

On August 3, 2016, YouTube Red support was added to the YouTube Kids app.[18] Later that month the service launched in Mexico [19].

On December 6, 2016, YouTube Red expanded to South Korea.[20]

As YouTube Premium

On May 17, 2018 YouTube announced the upcoming rebranding of the service as YouTube Premium, which officially took effect on June 18. The rebranding came alongside the re-launch of YouTube Music, with a separate subscription service focused solely on music (that, as before, is bundled with the larger YouTube Premium service, and also offered to Google Play Music subscribers). YouTube also announced that the price of the service would increase from US$9.99 to US$11.99 per-month for new subscribers; the existing pricing, as well as bundling of YouTube Premium benefits with Google Play Music subscriptions, is grandfathered for those who subscribed prior to the rebranding. Alongside the rebranding, the services also expanded into Canada, and 11 European markets (including Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), with more expansion to come in the future.[21][22][23]

On August 28, 2018, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music expanded to Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands,[24] followed by Brazil in September and Chile, Colombia, Japan, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland and Ukraine in November.[25]

On March 12, 2019, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music launched in Argentina and India.


A YouTube Premium subscription allows users to watch videos on YouTube without advertisements across the website and its mobile apps, including the dedicated YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming, and YouTube Kids apps. Through the apps, users can also save videos to their device for offline viewing, play them in the background, and in picture-in-picture mode on Android Oreo.[26][6][7] YouTube Premium also offers original content that is exclusive to subscribers, which is created and published by YouTube's largest creators.[27] The service also offers ad-free music streaming through the YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music services.[8] A YouTube Premium subscription also enables the user to 'listen in the background' on all videos and music being played through a mobile device. This feature is not normally available to free users.


YouTube Premium offers original films and series produced in collaboration with professional studios and YouTube personalities.[8]

For multi-episode series, the first episode of a YouTube Premium original series is available free.[8] In selected countries where the service is not yet available, individual episodes can also be purchased through YouTube or Google Play Movies & TV.[28]

On February 28, 2017, YouTube launched YouTube TV, a paid live internet TV service currently only available in the US. YouTube TV subscribers have access to YouTube Premium content, though the programmes will have ads unless a YouTube Premium subscription is purchased.

In November 2018, it was reported that Google was planning to adjust its original content strategy for YouTube Premium with a "single slate" approach, with plans to make more original content available without payment on an ad-supported basis by 2020. The Premium subscription would still cover ad-free access, and timed exclusivity windows for original content.[29]


Licensing terms

In May 2014, prior to the official unveiling of the Music Key service, the independent music trade organization Worldwide Independent Network alleged that YouTube was using non-negotiable contracts with independent labels that were "undervalued" in comparison to other streaming services, and stated that YouTube threatened to block a label's videos from public access if they did not agree to the new terms. In a statement to the Financial Times in June 2014, Robert Kyncl confirmed that these measures were "to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by its new contractual terms". Stating that 90% of labels had reached deals, he went on to say that "while we wish that we had [a] 100% success rate, we understand that is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry to launch the enhanced music experience".[30][31][32][33] The Financial Times later reported that YouTube had reached an aggregate deal with Merlin Network—a trade group representing over 20,000 independent labels, for their inclusion in the service. However, YouTube itself has not confirmed the deal.[7]

Following the unveiling of YouTube Red, it was stated that these same contractual requirements would now apply to all YouTube Partner Program members; partners who do not accept the new terms and revenue sharing agreements related to the YouTube Red service will have their videos blocked entirely in regions where YouTube Red is available.[34] The YouTube channels of ESPN were a notable party affected by the change; a representative of ESPN's parent, The Walt Disney Company, stated that conflicts with third-party rightsholders in regards to sports footage contained in ESPN's YouTube videos prevented them from being offered under the new terms. A limited number of older videos remain on ESPN's main channel.[35]

Similarly, a large amount of content licensed by Japanese record labels became unavailable in regions where YouTube Red is available. It was believed that the ability to download videos for offline viewing in YouTube Red was a subject of hesitation for Japanese media companies due to the need to monitor when, where, and how content is being used in accordance with Japanese copyright laws, hence their content was blocked under the new requirements.[36][37][38]

See also


  1. ^ Deahl, Dani (June 18, 2018). "YouTube Music and YouTube Premium officially launch in US, Canada, UK, and other countries". The Verge. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Gao, Richard (June 18, 2018). "YouTube Premium and Music launch today in 17 countries, including Canada and 11 European countries". Android Police. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "Paid memberships available locations - YouTube Help". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  4. ^ Statt, Nick (June 23, 2016). "YouTube Red buys its first big TV series". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  5. ^ Trew, James (November 12, 2014). "YouTube unveils Music Key subscription service, here's what you need to know". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Newton, Casey (November 12, 2014). "YouTube announces plans for a subscription music service". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Spangler, Todd (November 12, 2014). "YouTube Launches 'Music Key' Subscription Service with More Than 30 Million Songs". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Popper, Ben. "Red Dawn: An inside look at YouTube's new ad-free subscription service". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Introducing YouTube Premium". Official YouTube Blog. May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  10. ^ Savov, Vlad (May 17, 2018). "Google announces YouTube Music and YouTube Premium". The Verge. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Mediati, Nick (November 15, 2014). "Google Play Music subscribers will get free access to YouTube Music Key". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Helft, Miguel (January 20, 2010). "YouTube Takes a Small Step Into the Film Rental Market". The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 9, 2013). "YouTube's 30 Pay-Channel Partners Run from Kid Fare to Cage Matches". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (October 21, 2015). "YouTube Red Unveiled: Ad-Free Streaming Service Priced Same as Netflix". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  15. ^ Shaul, Brandy (November 2, 2015). "PewDiePie on YouTube Red: 'Adblock Has Actual Consequences'". Adweek. Beringer Capital. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  16. ^ Biggs, Tim (May 18, 2016). "YouTube Red launches in Australia, plus YouTube Music app. Here's what you get". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Cooke, Henry (May 18, 2016). "'Premium' version of YouTube arrives in NZ". Stuff. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Perez, Sarah (August 3, 2016). "YouTube Kids rolls out an ad-free option". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  19. ^ Gao, Richard (August 17, 2017). "YouTube Red now available in Mexico, costs a lot less than it does in the US". Android Police. Illogical Robot. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  20. ^ "Google launches ad-free YouTube subscription service in Korea", Korea Herald.
  21. ^ "New YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 monthly, add $2 to get all Red perks". Ars Technica. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Gao, Richard (Jun 18, 2018). "YouTube Premium and Music launch today in 17 countries, including Canada and 11 European countries". Android Police. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  23. ^ "YouTube Music and YouTube Premium officially launch in US, Canada, UK, and other countries". The Verge. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "YouTube Music arrives in 4 new countries - will India be next?". Music Business Worldwide. 2018-08-30. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  25. ^ Ivan. "YouTube Premium and Music Premium expand to seven new countries". Gsmarena. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Eight Android Oreo Features You Need to Definitely Check Out". NDTV Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  27. ^ Constine, Josh (October 21, 2015). "YouTube Red, A $9.99 Site-Wide Ad-Free Subscription With Play Music, Launches Oct 28". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  28. ^ "YouTube Red Originals available locations". YouTube Help. Google. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  29. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-11-27). "YouTube to Make New Originals Available for Free, Ad-Supported Viewing With 'Single Slate' Strategy". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  30. ^ Popper, Ben (June 17, 2014). "YouTube will block videos from artists who don't sign up for its paid streaming service". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  31. ^ Dredge, Stuart (May 22, 2014). "YouTube subscription music licensing strikes wrong notes with indie labels". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  32. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (May 23, 2014). "Talks with indie labels stall over YouTube music subscription service". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  33. ^ Dredge, Stuart; Rushe, Dominic (June 17, 2014). "YouTube to block indie labels who don't sign up to new music service". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  34. ^ Constine, Josh (October 21, 2015). "YouTube Will Completely Remove Videos Of Creators Who Don't Sign Its Red Subscription Deal". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  35. ^ Brandom, Russell (October 23, 2015). "ESPN is shutting down its YouTube channels over paid subscriptions". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "CD-Loving Japan Resists Move to Online Music". The New York Times. September 16, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  37. ^ "YouTube blocks Japanese contributors' content for refusing to use its paid version". Networkworld. IDG. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  38. ^ "Japanese music and vocaloid content disappears as YouTube rolls out new paid service". RocketNews24. Retrieved January 25, 2016.

External links

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Best Shot is an American documentary web television series directed by Michael John Warren and starring Jay Williams. The series follows Newark Central High School's basketball team, showing the lives of the players and the fortunes of the team, as they are mentored by Williams. It premiered on July 18, 2018 on YouTube Premium. The series is executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Jordan Wynn, and Warren.

Broke (TV series)

Broke is an American comedy web television series produced exclusively for YouTube Red, starring Quinta Brunson. The series premiered on January 26, 2017. The first season, which had 11 episodes, ended on March 23, 2017. The series was produced by Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, the second YouTube Red digital original series from the company after Squad Wars.The series is about three friends (also featuring Maurice Williams and Paul DuPree) move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Champaign ILL

Champaign ILL is an American comedy web television series, created by Jordan Cahan, David Caspe, Daniel Libman, and Matthew Libman, that premiered on December 12, 2018, on YouTube Premium. The series stars Adam Pally and Sam Richardson and is executive produced by Cahan, Caspe, the Libmans, and Jamie Tarses.

Escape the Night

Escape the Night is an American murder-mystery reality web series hosted by Joey Graceffa that premiered on June 22, 2016 on YouTube Premium. The third season was released on June 21, 2018. The series is produced by Brian Graden Media.

Fight of the Living Dead

Fight of the Living Dead is a reality web series where 10 YouTube stars were selected to take part in a simulated zombie apocalypse and try to survive for 72 hours straight. The first season, which was produced before BlackBoxTV's partnership with YouTube Premium debuted on April 5, 2015, starred Jesse Wellens, Meghan Camarena, Iman Crosson, Joey Graceffa, Justine Ezarik, Jeana Smith, Jarrett Sleeper Sam Pepper and Olga Kay. The second season titled Fight of the Living Dead: Experiment 88, was premiered on August 17, 2016.

The third season, known as Fight of the Living Dead: Paradise Calls, premiered on October 31, 2017.

Foursome (2016 TV series)

Foursome is an American romantic comedy web television series starring Jenn McAllister and an ensemble cast of other social media entertainers and professional actors. The series is produced by AwesomenessTV and premiered on March 30, 2016 on YouTube Premium.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. The service was announced on May 10, 2011, and after a six-month, invitation-only beta period, it was publicly launched on November 16, 2011.

Users with standard accounts can upload and listen to up to 50,000 songs from their personal libraries at no cost. A paid Google Play Music subscription entitles users to on-demand streaming of any song in the Google Play Music catalog, as well as access to YouTube Music Premium. Users in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom also have access to YouTube Premium. Users can purchase additional tracks for their library through the music store section of Google Play. In addition to offering music streaming for Internet-connected devices, the Google Play Music mobile apps allow music to be stored and listened to offline.

List of original programs distributed by YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a subscription service that provides advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, offline play and background playback of videos on mobile devices, access to advertising-free music streaming through Google Play Music or YouTube Music, and access to "YouTube Original" series and films.

Liza Koshy

Elizabeth Shaila Koshy (born March 31, 1996) is an American actress, television host, comedian and YouTuber. She began her career on Vine in 2013, before starting a YouTube channel.

Among her acting roles have been Aday Walker in Tyler Perry's horror comedy film Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016) and The Explorer in the YouTube Premium series Escape the Night (2017). She starred as Violet Adams in the Hulu drama television series Freakish (2016–2017), and she both produces and stars as the title character in the YouTube Premium comedy series Liza on Demand, which was released in June 2018. Koshy also co-hosts the MTV television series Total Request Live (2017–present) and the Nickelodeon game show revival Double Dare, which premiered in June 2018.

Koshy's main YouTube channel has amassed more than 16 million subscribers, and her two channels have a total of more than two billion combined views. She has received four Streamy Awards, four Teen Choice Awards, and a Kids' Choice Award. She is a member of the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list.

MatPat's Game Lab

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Origin is an American science fiction drama web television series created by Mika Watkins that premiered on November 14, 2018, on YouTube Premium. Watkins also serves as a writer for the series and executive produces alongside Andy Harries, Rob Bullock, Suzanne Mackie, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg.

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Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television is an action comedy web television series created by Rawson Marshall Thurber and starring Ryan Hansen that premiered on October 25, 2017, on YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium). In July 2018, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season which premiered on January 30, 2019.

Scare PewDiePie

Scare PewDiePie (stylized on the web as SCARE PEWDIEPIE) was an American web television series starring Swedish YouTube personality Felix Kjellberg. The series was produced by Maker Studios (now Disney Digital Network) and Skybound Entertainment, with Robert Kirkman serving as executive producer, and premiered on February 10, 2016 exclusively for YouTube Red, YouTube's subscription service (now YouTube Premium). It featured PewDiePie exploring sets, designed and based on the horror video games which PewDiePie played and commented over on his YouTube channel.10 episodes were produced and filmed in Los Angeles, California during September 2015. A second season was planned to be released on March 9, 2017, called Scare PewDiePie: Multiplayer, where PewDiePie was going to be joined by fellow YouTuber Jacksepticeye, but the show was cancelled before its release.

Squad Wars

Squad Wars is an American comedy web television series produced exclusively for YouTube Red, featuring Eugene Lee Yang, Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfeld and other Internet personalities. The series premiered on January 26, 2017. The season finale was released on March 23, 2017. The 9 episodes, 25-minute-long series is produced by Buzzfeed Motion Pictures.The competition reality series features new teams and new challenges.

Top Management (TV series)

Top Management (Hangul: 탑 매니지먼트; RR: Tab Maenijimeonteu) is a South Korean web television series that premiered on October 31, 2018 on YouTube Premium. It is based on an original novel by Jang Woo-san about idols who dream about going on stage, which was published in 2015 by Munpia. The series stars Seo Eun-soo, Ahn Hyo-seop and Cha Eun-woo.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a music streaming service developed by YouTube; it provides a tailored interface for the service oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations. The service also offers a premium tier, which enables ad-free playback, audio-only background playback, and downloading songs for offline playback. These subscription benefits are also offered to subscribers of Google Play Music and YouTube Premium.

As of March 2019, the app is available in 43 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Perú, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

YouTube Premium original programming
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