YouTube Red

Last updated on 15 August 2017

YouTube Red is a paid streaming subscription service exclusively for YouTube in the United States, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea. [2] It 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, and access to "YouTube Red Original" series and films.[3]

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.[4][5][6] The service was then revised and relaunched as YouTube Red on October 28, 2015, expanding its scope to offer ad-free access to all YouTube videos, as opposed to just music.[7]

Besides ad-free streaming, YouTube Red has also participated with major networks and certain YouTube celebrities to offer "YouTube Red Originals", movies and shows exclusive only to Red members.[7] Access to this content is included with a YouTube Red subscription, but individual episodes and movies can be purchased through YouTube or Google Play Movies & TV in certain countries where subscriptions are not yet available.[8]

YouTube Red.svg
YouTube Red.svg


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.[9] 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.[5][6] Music Key was not YouTube's first foray into premium content, having launched film rentals in 2010,[10] and premium, subscription-based channels in 2013.[11]

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.[7] 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.[7]

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; there is [a] story-telling skill set, there is showrunning, etc."[7][12]

On October 21, 2015, it was announced that the service would be re-launched in a revised form as YouTube Red on October 28, 2015, expanding its scope to offer ad-free access to all YouTube videos, as opposed to just music, as well as premium content produced in collaboration with notable YouTube producers and personalities.[7] Prominent YouTube personality PewDiePie, who is involved in one of the planned originals for the service,[12] explained that the service was meant to mitigate profits lost due to the use of ad blocking.[13]

Availability of YouTube Red in the World.svg
Global availability of YouTube Red

On May 18, 2016, YouTube Red was launched in Australia and New Zealand, the first countries to gain access to the service outside the United States. The YouTube Music app was also launched in the territories the same day.[14][15]

On August 3, 2016, YouTube Red support was added to the YouTube Kids app.[16]


A YouTube Red 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, and play them in the background.[5][6] YouTube Red will also offer original, premium content exclusive to subscribers, the content will be created and published by YouTube's largest channels and creators.[17] The service also offers ad-free music streaming through the Google Play Music All Access service.[7]


YouTube Red will offer original films and series; they will be produced in collaboration between professional studios and existing YouTube personalities.[7]


Original series

Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Series Premiere Season/Series Finale
Scare PewDiePie[18] Horror
Felix Kjellberg February 10 April 6
Prank Academy Comedy Jesse Wellens & Jeana Smith March 30 July 20
Foursome[18] Romance
AwesomenessTV & Jenn McAllister March 30
December 6
April 27
February 1, 2017
Sing It! Comedy Fine Brothers Entertainment May 25 July 6
Bad Internet[6][18] Dark Comedy CollegeHumor May 25 July 20
MatPat's Game Lab Game Show Matthew Patrick June 8 July 20
Escape the Night[19] Competition
Joey Graceffa June 22

June 22

August 17

August 16

Fight of the Living Dead: Experiment 88[6] Competition
BlackBoxTV August 17 September 21
Single by 30[20] Dramedy
Wong Fu Productions August 24 October 4
Broke Drama BuzzFeed September 28 November 30
Rhett and Link's Buddy System[21] Comedy Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal October 19 November 30
Paranormal Action Squad[22] Animation
Adam Montoya, Scott Robison & Evan Fong November 16 December 28
12 Deadly Days[23] Horror
YouTube Red Originals December 12 December 22
Mind Field Science Vsauce January 11 2017 March 1 2017

Original films and documentaries

Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Release Date
Lazer Team Sci-Fi
Rooster Teeth January 27[6]
A Trip to Unicorn Island Documentary Lilly Singh February 10[24][25]
Dance Camp Dance
AwesomenessTV February 10
The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire Documentary
Dan Howell & Phil Lester October 5
Dan and Phil's Story of TATINOF Documentary Dan Howell & Phil Lester October 5
The Thinning Sci-Fi
Logan Paul October 12
Vlogumentary Documentary Shay Carl October 26[18]
We Love You[26] Romance AwesomenessTV, Yousef Erakat & Lele Pons November 22
Jingle Ballin' Comedy Liza Koshy December 6[27]
Ghostmates[28] Comedy Anthony Padilla & Ian Hecox December 14[18]
The Keys of Christmas Comedy Rudy Mancuso December 19[29]


Renewed series

Title Season Season Premiere Season Finale
Rhett and Link's Buddy System 2 TBA TBA
Foursome 3 TBA TBA
Mind Field 2 TBA TBA
Escape the Night 2 June 22, 2017 August 16, 2017

Original series

Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Series Premiere Season/Series Finale
Mind Field Education Michael Stevens January 18 March 1
Squad Wars Comedy BuzzFeed January 26 March 23
Me and My Grandma[30] Comedy MyLifeAsEva March 22 March 22
Kings of Atlantis Kids & Family
Cody Owen & JoeBuz April 7 May 26
DanTDM Creates a Big Scene[18] Kids & Family
Dan Middleton April 7 May 5
Run, BIGBANG Scout! Reality Big Bang April 26 May 25
Fruit Ninja: Frenzy Force Kids & Family
Halfbrick May 5 July 21
Hyperlinked Music L2M, Disney May 31 May 31

Original films and documentaries

Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Release Date
Alexander IRL[31] Comedy Brent Rivera January 11
Gigi Gorgeous: This is Everything[32] Documentary Gigi Lazzarato February 8
Kedi[33] Documentary Oscilloscope Laboratories, Vlogbrothers May 10
Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough Documentary Lindsey Stirling May 17
Inventerprise[34] Documentary Epic Meal Time August 1

Upcoming projects


Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Notes
Step Up: High Water[18] Dance, Romance Lionsgate [18]
I Am Tobuscus[6] Comedy Toby Turner [18]
Lifeline Drama Seven Bucks Productions (Studio 71, and Dwayne Johnson); and Corridor Digital [22][35]
Impulse[36] Drama Universal Cable Productions [22]
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television Mystery, Comedy Ryan Hansen [37]
Good Game Comedy Dan Harmon, Game Grumps [37]
Furze World Wonders Reality Colin Furze, 9 Story Entertainment [37]
Do You Want to See a Dead Body? Comedy Rob Huebel, Abominable Pictures, Funny or Die [37]
Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge Reality Competition Swoozie, Ken Mok, D'Wayne Edwards [37]
Cobra Kai Action Ralph Macchio, William Zabka [37]


Title Genre Featured Creator or Channel Notes
Lazer Team 2 Sci-Fi
Rooster Teeth [38]


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."[39][40][41][42] 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.[6]

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.[43] 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.[44]

Similarly, a large amount of content licensed by Japanese and Korean record labels became unavailable in the United States with the message "It is not available in your country." 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 to Japanese copyright laws.[45][46][47]

External links

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  2. ^ "YouTube Red available locations". YouTube Help. Google. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  3. ^ Statt, Nick (June 23, 2016). "YouTube Red buys its first big TV series". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Trew, James (November 12, 2014). "YouTube unveils Music Key subscription service, here's what you need to know". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Newton, Casey (November 12, 2014). "YouTube announces plans for a subscription music service". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "YouTube Red Originals available locations". YouTube Help. Google. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Helft, Miguel (January 20, 2010). "YouTube Takes a Small Step Into the Film Rental Market". The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Shaul, Brandy (November 2, 2015). "PewDiePie on YouTube Red: ‘Adblock Has Actual Consequences’". Adweek. Beringer Capital. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Cooke, Henry (May 18, 2016). "'Premium' version of YouTube arrives in NZ". Stuff. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  16. ^ Perez, Sarah (August 3, 2016). "YouTube Kids rolls out an ad-free option". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Another great slate of shows and movies coming from top creators to YouTube Red". Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  19. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Joey Graceffa Promises to Make His Friends Pee Their Pants on YouTube Red’s ‘Escape the Night’". Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  20. ^ Wong Fu Productions (2016-08-10), Making "Single By 30" | Trailer, retrieved 2016-08-10
  21. ^ Good Mythical Morning (2016-10-12), Rhett & Link’s Buddy System - Official Trailer, retrieved 2016-10-12
  22. ^ a b c Spangler, Todd (October 17, 2016). "YouTube Orders Shows From Dwayne Johnson, Dan Harmon, Doug Liman". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  23. ^ YouTube Red Originals (2016-12-06), 12 Deadly Days - OFFICIAL TRAILER!, retrieved 2016-12-07
  24. ^ Falcone, Dana (February 9, 2016). "Lilly Singh admits the hardest part of filming 'A Trip to Unicorn Island'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  25. ^ Borges, Andre (February 10, 2016). "Lilly "Superwoman" Singh's Movie "A Trip To Unicorn Island" Is Finally Out". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  26. ^ LaCroix, Emy (14 November 2016). ""‘We Love You’: FouseyTUBE & Justin Dobies Start Dating Same Girl & Work Gets Awkward"". Hollywoodlife. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  27. ^ ""Jingle Ballin’ - OFFICIAL TRAILER "". YouTube. 29 November 2016.
  28. ^ ""Ian Hecox's Twitter"".
  29. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  30. ^ YouTube Red Originals (2017-03-15), ME AND MY GRANDMA - Official Trailer MyLifeAsEva, retrieved 2017-03-15
  31. ^ YouTube Red Originals (2016-12-16), New shows from YouTube's biggest stars - YouTube Red Originals, retrieved 2016-12-17
  32. ^ "YouTube Seeks Streaming Rights to TV Shows, Movies". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  33. ^ "YouTube Acquires Turkish Street Cats Documentary Film ‘Kedi’ for YouTube Red". Variety. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 2, 2017). "Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson YouTube Series ‘Lifeline’ Casts Two Leads". TheWrap. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  36. ^ Impulse on IMDb
  37. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (June 22, 2017). "YouTube Red Orders Series Produced By Dwayne Johnson, Dan Harmon & More". Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  38. ^ Spangler, Todd (5 August 2016). "‘Lazer Team 2’ Coming to YouTube Red". Variety. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ Dredge, Stuart (May 22, 2014). "YouTube subscription music licensing strikes wrong notes with indie labels". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  41. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (May 23, 2014). "Talks with indie labels stall over YouTube music subscription service". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ Brandom, Russell (October 23, 2015). "ESPN is shutting down its YouTube channels over paid subscriptions". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  45. ^ "CD-Loving Japan Resists Move to Online Music". The New York Times. September 16, 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  46. ^ "YouTube blocks Japanese contributors' content for refusing to use its paid version". Networkworld. IDG. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  47. ^ "Japanese music and vocaloid content disappears as YouTube rolls out new paid service". RocketNews24. Retrieved 25 January 2016.

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