YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is YouTube's premium subscription service. It offers advertising-free streaming, access to exclusive content, background and offline video playback on mobile devices, and access to the Google Play Music"All Access" service.
YouTube Premium was originally announced on November 12, 2014, as "Music Key", a subscription music streaming service, and was intended to integrate with and replace the existing Google Play Music "All Access" service.
On October 28, 2015, the service was relaunched as YouTube Red, offering ad-free streaming of all videos, as well as access to exclusive original content. As of November 2016, the service has 1.5 million subscribers, with a further million on a free-trial basis.
As of June 2017, the first season of YouTube Red Originals had gotten 250 million views in total.
In May 2014, before Music Key service was launched, 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 that YouTube would block all music content from labels who do not reach a deal to be included on the paid service. In a statement to the Financial Times in June 2014, Robert Kyncl confirmed that YouTube would block the content
of labels who do not negotiate deals to be included in the paid service "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."
The Financial Timeslater 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.
On September 28, 2016, YouTube named Lyor Cohen, the co-founder of 300 Entertainment and former Warner Music Group executive, the Global Head of Music. In early 2018, Cohen began hinting at the possible launch of YouTube's new subscription music streaming service, a platform that would compete with other services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The service is expected to be launched in March 2018.
On February 28, 2017, in a press announcement held at YouTube Space Los Angeles, YouTube announced the launch of YouTube TV, an over-the-topMVPD-style subscription service that would be available for United States customers at a price of US$35 per month.
Subscribers can also receive Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus as optional add-ons for an extra fee and can access YouTube Red original content (YouTube TV does not include a YouTube Red subscription).
During the 2017 World Series (in which it was the presenting sponsor), YouTube TV ads were placed behind the home plate. The trademarked red play button logo appeared at the center of the screen, mimicking YouTube's interface.
YouTube Go is an Android app aimed at making YouTube easier to access on mobile devices in emerging markets. It is distinct from the company's main Android app and allows videos to be downloaded and shared with other users. It also allows users to preview videos, share downloaded videos through Bluetooth and offers more options for mobile data control and video resolution.
It was rolled out in 130 countries worldwide, including Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and Iraq on February 1, 2018. The app is available to around 60% of the world's population.
In 2018, YouTube became an ISNI registry and announced its intention to begin creating ISNI identifiers to uniquely identify the musicians whose videos it features. ISNI anticipate the number of ISNI IDs "going up by perhaps 3-5 million over the next couple of years" as a result.
The next year, when clicking on a video on the main page, the whole page turned upside down, which YouTube claimed was a "new layout". In 2010, YouTube temporarily released a "TEXTp" mode which transformed colors in videos to random uppercase letters "in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second."
The next year, the site celebrated its "100th anniversary" with a range of sepia-toned silent, early 1900s-style films, including a parody of Keyboard Cat. In 2012, clicking on the image of a DVD next to the site logo led to a video about a purported option to order every YouTube video for home delivery on DVD.
In 2013, YouTube teamed up with satirical newspaper company The Onion to claim that the video sharing website was launched as a contest which had finally come to an end, and would announce a winner of the contest when the site went back up in 2023.
In 2014, YouTube announced that it was responsible for the creation of all viral video trends, and revealed previews of upcoming internet memes, such as "Clocking", "Kissing Dad", and "Glub Glub Water Dance".
The next year, YouTube added a music button to the video bar that played samples from "Sandstorm" by Darude. In 2016, YouTube introduced an option to watch every video on the platform in a 360-degree mode with Snoop Dogg.
Both private individuals and large production companies have used YouTube to grow audiences. Independent content creators have built grassroots followings numbering in the thousands at very little cost or effort, while mass retail and radio promotion proved problematic.
Concurrently, old media celebrities moved into the website at the invitation of a YouTube management that witnessed early content creators accruing substantial followings, and perceived audience sizes potentially larger than that attainable by television.
While YouTube's revenue-sharing "Partner Program" made it possible to earn a substantial living as a video producer—its top five hundred partners each earning more than $100,000 annually and its ten highest-earning channels grossing from $2.5 million to $12 million —in 2012 CMU business editor characterized YouTube as "a free-to-use... promotional platform for the music labels".
In 2013 Forbes' Katheryn Thayer asserted that digital-era artists' work must not only be of high quality but must elicit reactions on the YouTube platform and social media.
Videos of the 2.5% of artists categorized as "mega", "mainstream" and "mid-sized" received 90.3% of the relevant views on YouTube and Vevo in that year.
By early 2013 Billboard had announced that it was factoring YouTube streaming data into calculation of the Billboard Hot 100 and related genre charts.
Observing that face-to-face communication of the type that online videos convey has been "fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution",
TED curator Chris Anderson referred to several YouTube contributors and asserted that "what Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication".
Anderson asserted that it's not far-fetched to say that online video will dramatically accelerate scientific advance and that video contributors may be about to launch "the biggest learning cycle in human history."
In education, for example, the Khan Academy grew from YouTube video tutoring sessions for founder Salman Khan's cousin into what Forbes' Michael Noer called "the largest school in the world", with technology poised to disrupt how people learn. YouTube was awarded a 2008 George Foster Peabody Award, the website is described as a Speakers' Corner that "both embodies and promotes democracy."
The Washington Post reported that a disproportionate share of YouTube's most subscribed channels feature minorities, contrasting with mainstream television in which the stars are largely white.
A Pew Research Center study reported the development of "visual journalism", in which citizen eyewitnesses and established news organizations share in content creation. The study also concluded that YouTube was becoming an important platform by which people acquire news.
YouTube has enabled people to more directly engage with government, such as in the CNN/YouTube presidential debates(2007) in which ordinary people submitted questions to U.S. presidential candidates via YouTube video, with a techPresidentco-founder saying that Internet video was changing the political landscape.
Describing the Arab Spring (2010– ), sociologist Philip N. Howard quoted an activist's succinct description that organizing the political unrest involved using "Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world."
In 2012, more than a third of the U.S. Senate introduced a resolution condemning Joseph Kony 16 days after the "Kony 2012" video was posted to YouTube, with resolution co-sponsor Senator Lindsey Graham remarking that the video "will do more to lead to (Kony's) demise than all other action combined."
Leading YouTube content creators met at the White House with U.S. President Obama to discuss how the government could better connect with the "YouTube generation".
Conversely, YouTube has also allowed the government to more easily engage with citizens, the White House's official YouTube channel being the seventh top news organization producer on
YouTube in 2012 and in 2013 a healthcare exchange commissioned Obama impersonator Iman Crosson's YouTube music video spoof to encourage young Americans to enroll in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)-compliant health insurance.
In February 2014, U.S. President Obama held a meeting at the White House with leading YouTube content creators to not only promote awareness of Obamacare but more generally to develop ways for the government to better connect with the "YouTube Generation".
Whereas YouTube's inherent ability to allow presidents to directly connect with average citizens was noted, the YouTube content creators' new media savvy was perceived necessary to better cope with the website's distracting content and fickle audience.
TED curator Chris Anderson described a phenomenon by which geographically distributed individuals in a certain field share their independently developed skills in YouTube videos, thus challenging others to improve their own skills, and spurring invention and evolution in that field.
Journalist Virginia Heffernan stated in The New York Times that such videos have "surprising implications" for the dissemination of culture and even the future of classical music.
The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra selected their membership based on individual video performances. Further, the cyber collaboration charity video
"We Are the World 25 for Haiti (YouTube edition)" was formed by mixing performances of 57 globally distributed singers into a single musical work, with The Tokyo Times noting the "We Pray for You" YouTube cyber-collaboration video as an example of a trend to use crowdsourcing for charitable purposes.
The anti-bullying It Gets Better Project expanded from a single YouTube video directed to discouraged or suicidal LGBT teens, that within two months drew video responses from hundreds including U.S. President Barack Obama, Vice President Biden, White House staff, and several cabinet secretaries.
Similarly, in response to fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd's video "My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self-harm" legislative action was undertaken almost immediately after her suicide to study the prevalence of bullying and form a national anti-bullying strategy.
In May 2018, London Metropolitan Police claimed that the drill videos that talk about violence give rise to the gang-related violence. YouTube deleted 30 music videos after the complaint.
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