Since its inception, YouTube has grown by leaps and bounds. Billions of users all over the world are hooked to YouTube videos. Each minute around 300 hours of video are being uploaded, and 5 billion videos are being watched on a daily basis. Not limited to this, YouTube is a proven indispensable marketing and advertising platform for businesses. Not only e-commerce brands, but offline businesses also have been reaping the benefits of YouTube promotions for their branding.
YouTube is ranked no. 2 domestically and globally in terms of Web traffic by Alexa. Apart from its effectiveness and reach, the economical feasibility made YouTube a favorite of both brands and viewers. In early 2018, YouTube made an announcement of two new services, YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium, replacing and restructuring its paid YouTube Red Service. The upgraded YouTube plan will affect business promotions and the advertising industry. Let’s look into the pros and cons of YouTube Premium and its effects on branding.
YouTube made all its original videos accessible for non-subscribers, too, with the intention to expand its audience base and ultimately gain more subscribers. Now, non-subscribers can binge on YouTube originals, which were before reserved to only subscribers, with ads. YouTube officials claim that they made this decision considering the enduring demand for its platform all over the world.
YouTube is offering a $12 per month package wherein subscribers can indulge in an ad-free video viewing experience. However, this further raises questions on the sustainability of YouTube Premium. When YouTube originals are being offered for free, provided with ads, why would one pay $11.99 per month and become a premium number? Statistics prove that users are comfortable watching video ads when compared to text ads. In that case, there are few chances that people (viewers) will opt for premium services. Also, other subscription-based media services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, cost less when compared to YouTube Premium.
YouTube has been the biggest avenue to serve free videos; hosting and streaming videos depends on ads. However, Adblocks have forced YouTube to restructure its plan wherein users can watch a video for free with ads or become a premium member and watch without ads. This feature will enhance user experience by facilitating interruption-free video watching escapade. Also, this will keep viewers’ attention on their brand video.
All YouTube viewers have wished to switch between apps at least once while they watch videos on the go. Finally, YouTube has heard this concern and has embedded this feature in its premium version. YouTube Premium allows its users to switch between apps while playing a video in the background. Now, you can compose an email or reply to the text without turning off the YouTube video you were watching. How this feature will work for businesses is subjective, as at times, it may disturb the user’s focus when they leave the app abruptly and get distracted by the audio that is playing in the background. While making videos, businesses focus on visuals more than on audio or voice-over, so this feature can act as a backslash for branding.
Experts predict that YouTube’s Premium strategy comes as competition to Apple, which is planning to launch its own streaming services to provide original content and license deals with production houses. Moreover, it is rumored that Apple’s upcoming streaming service will be free for Apple users. The open video sourcing platform has been a go-to video consumption platform for video lovers. YouTube’s new move to draw subscribers can work for or go against it.