YouTube Red launches in Australia – but still no sign of a UK version
Google has rolled out its ad-free, paid streaming service – YouTube Red – to Australia and New Zealand. The countries are the first outside of the US to get the service.
Australian version of YouTube Red will cost $11.99 per month, and lets users watch videos without ads on any device. It also gives access to YouTube’s original content, and the ability to download videos for 30 days of offline access.
There’s still no word on whether YouTube Red will come to the UK, although the fact that Google is branching outside of the US with its ad-free subscription service suggests that a European release sometime soon is likely.
(03/12/2015) YouTube Red in talks to stream Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows
YouTube’s rivalry with Netflix looks like it’ll be stepping up a gear, with reports that the Alphabet Inc. subsidiary is courting Hollywood studios to secure the right to stream premium movies and TV series.
The Wall Street Journal claims that YouTube executives have met with Hollywood production companies over the past few months with pitches to license content. According to “people familiar with the situation”, a number of high-profile YouTube employees have been involved, including former Netflix veterans Robert Kyncl and Kelly Merryman.
While the specifics aren’t yet clear about which shows YouTube wants to attract, bolstering the company’s ad-free, $9.99-a-month Red subscription service with hit shows and blockbusters seems like a necessary move, especially if YouTube wants to compete with Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Original content is also a big part of the streaming service equation. In a bid to convince viewers to opt for a paid version of the free service, YouTube previously announced that it intends to release at least ten exclusive series – one of which will star the YouTube behemoth that is “PewDiePie”, real name Felix Kjellberg.
YouTube Red launched 28 October in the US. As for us in the UK, there hasn’t yet been any news about the subscription service on this side of the Atlantic. It’s likely that YouTube wants to gauge the success of the new service in the US before embarking on a wider rollout. Then again, seeing as PewDiePie is based in Brighton, I guess we could always ask him to put in a good word to speed things up.