Youtube’s venture into premium digital streaming which debuted in 2014 with just music has recently rebranded itself in late June 2018 under a new name, Youtube Premium. Formerly Youtube Red, the service offers ad-free viewing of typical Youtube videos as well as the ability to download content offline for later viewing, access to Google Play Music and exclusive, original series and films.
The service costs $11.99 a month, not bad compared to Hulu’s $7.99 programming that includes commercial interruptions and Netflix’s $8 standard definition streaming.
Youtube itself ranks in 1.5 billion viewers a month to its platform, meaning a staggering 20% of the world population is tuning in. By capitalizing on this huge audience, Youtube is attracting more viewers to their site with their new unique programming.
Youtube Premium is available in 17 countries and hosts 62 original television series, films, and programs ranging in genre from drama to comedy to documentary mainly attracting the millennial audience. Big hits from the service thus far include documentaries with singers Katy Perry and Demi Lovato as well as transgender internet personality Gigi Gorgeous, a 2016 reality competition series hosted by Youtuber Joey Graceffa titled “Escape the Night,” and drama series “Impulse” which has an impressive 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. It has 15 more projects in the works for the upcoming future.
“Cobra Kai,” their spin on the “Karate Kid” franchise, received more buzz during its release than Netflix teen favorite “13 Reasons Why” did, making it Youtube Premium’s highest rating series ever.
Youtube seems very serious about producing their own original television and films and it’s only due time until they join the ranks of marketing monoliths like Netflix.