It has been reported this week that YouTube is to enter the ever-growing Subscription Video on-Demand (SVoD) market, launching its own service to compete with the likes of Netflix. A report in Variety stated that ‘YouTube is exploring the prospect of launching its own subscription VOD service, modeled on YouTube Music Key’.
Music Key was launched at the end of last year and allows users to watch and listen to music online for £9.99 a month, without adverts. Like many on-demand media services, Music Key also allows users to save playlists, download videos to watch offline and find new music based on previous searches and music preference.
The Variety report states that: ‘An exec at one YouTube partner says reps from the vidsite reached out late last year about an SVOD licensing deal.’ However, if the partner didn’t agree to YouTube’s terms it would be excluded from any future ad revenue. This was the same approach taken by YouTube towards Music companies who didn’t join up with Music Key.
If it does enter the SVoD market, the video hosting company will face competition from established players like Hulu and Vimeo. These sites have been attracting talent who previously hosted their videos on YouTube, and once these ‘stars’ jump ship, YouTube viewers may quickly follow.
Although YouTube has declined to comment on the potential SVoD launch, it has recently unveiled a raft of new services which has kept the company in the headlines and at the forefront of developments. Its new website: YouTube for Artists, is designed to give users ‘the tools to best connect with fans, and promotional programs to help you get discovered and grow’, including making money through the website. It is also aiming to extend its audience reach with the launch of the YouTube Kids app, a free service which, YouTube says ‘makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore’. In addition to seeking to establish consumer loyalty from a young age.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have also developed their video capabilities recently: Facebook reported an average of 3 billion views per day of videos uploaded to the site; at the beginning of this year Twitter announced that users can now capture, edit and share mobile videoclips of up to 30 seconds; and in the same month Snapchat introduced Discover, a video and news service with partners including CNN and ESPN.