Top YouTube personality Felix Kjellberg, aka “PewDiePie”, has come to the defense of YouTube’s new subscription service after it received tough criticism during its first few days. Going into a great amount of detail PewDiePie shared his thoughts on the issue via his Tumblr page.
Personally, I’m ok with if you use adblock on my videos. Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that.
But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.
I think what many people still don’t realize is that:
# YouTube Red exist largely as an effort to counter Adblock.
# Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system.
# YouTube Red exist because using Adblock has actual consequences.
PewDiePie recently conducted two polls on his Twitter account, asking his followers if they would spend money on YouTube Red. Only 6% of respondents said yes, whereas 40% of them admitted to using Adblock on YouTube.
PewDiePie has already agreed to make exclusive content for users of YouTube Red, including a new reality series.
In the meantime, major sports network ESPN has left the site after not being able to resolve the conflict between content rights and YouTube Red’s subscription model. Many other content creators are also having problems with what they see as “extortion” on YouTube’s part.
There has also been controversy over YouTubers not being paid for views made by YouTube Red users on a free trial. YouTube has responded by assuring content creators that they will recieve a cut from YouTube’s music streaming service instead.
It is understandable why YouTube has resorted to a subscription model, regardless of all the backlash they are getting. Adblock has become more of problem for both the content creators and the YouTube community as a whole, as it cuts into their primary source of revenue; advertisements. It’s a problem for any any website that relies on advertising revenue, which is most of them.
Giant Bomb have had a lot success after going to a subscription model, while other sites have not been as lucky. But regardless, YouTube believes that this decision will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved, since this is a more consistent way to monetize their views.
Does YouTube Red have problems? Well, it depends on who you are asking, but the implementation of this new subscription model did not come from greed. It came from desperation. YouTube has not been a profitable company in years, as they pay billions of dollars just in infrastructure.
YouTube’s competition has only been increasing these past few years as the viewership and revenue for both Netflix and HBO have risen to greatly. YouTube Red needs to be a success in order for YouTube to be a viable platform for its content creators.