It’s been a hectic week since we first shared news of YouTube Red, YouTube’s $9.99-per-month, ad-free service. Red has now officially launched, and with a new era of premium users set to dawn, YouTube Senior Product Manager Matt Leske has authored a blog post clearing up a few questions about the new service.
Leske’s post hit on a few points we previously discussed when we debunked several myths related to Red; his post even links to ours (thanks Matt!) The most significant section of his post, however, concerns something we haven’t written about yet: The payout system related to Red’s free trials. In short, users who sign up for Red will receive their first 30 days for free. This is great news for potential subscribers, but it raised a big question about how YouTube would pay creators during the period when individual Red subscribers don’t generate any revenue.
This question escalated into a near-war when multi-channel network Fullscreen tweeted a bit of news that did not seem to bode well for creators:
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YouTube has confirmed to us that creators will not receive revenue when a #YouTubeRed user watches your videos during the free trial.
— Fullscreen Network (@FullscreenNet) October 27, 2015
Other interested parties, such as outspoken YouTube gamer Boogie2988, commented on the perceived inequality of such a policy:
Google has now put its smaller creators into the unique position of DISCOURAGING their followers from trying YouTube red. Weird marketing.
— BOO! gie2988 (@Boogie2988) October 27, 2015
Don’t worry, everyone, we can put down the pitchforks. YouTube will pay creators during Red trial periods; as Leske explains it, the video site will transfer Google Play Music subscription revenue to creators as an “advance” of sorts. “Creators are the lifeblood of YouTube. So with Google Play Music subscribers instantly joining YouTube Red, we will pay a portion of the revenue we receive from these subscribers to our creators on day 1,” he writes. “Even with 30 day free trials, our creator community will make as much or more as they would have without YouTube Red.”
It would seem as if YouTube has averted this particular crisis, and with that, the stage is set for YouTube Red. If you’d like to be one of the first people to get a subscription, you can grab one right here.