How many people would pay $9.99 per month to have an ad-free version of YouTube? Google is about to find out. Starting on October 28th, Google will give users the option to subscribe to an ad-free version of YouTube called YouTube Red that will cost $9.99 per month, or exactly what it now costs for a monthly Netflix subscription. This new option will also give subscribers the ability to download videos onto their devices so they can watch them offline, although it seems that this only works on smartphones that use the official YouTube iOS and Android apps.
What’s particularly interesting here is that YouTube is looking to develop some of its own original content to lure potential subscribers in and compete more directly with Hulu and Netflix. Here is a list of original content that YouTube Red has planned so far:
- “Scare PewDiePie”: In this reality-adventure series from the creator and executive producers of “The Walking Dead” at Skybound Entertainment and Maker Studios, experience thrills, chills and laughter as PewDiePie encounters terrifying situations inspired by his favorite video games.
- “Sing It!”: From Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films, scripted comedy satirizes the reality singing competitions that have become a centerpiece of pop culture.
- “Lazer Team”: Feature-length action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films focuses on four small-town losers who stumble on an alien ship carrying a mysterious cargo, leading to a battle to save Earth from an all-powerful enemy.
- “A Trip to Unicorn Island”: From Astronauts Wanted, feature-length documentary gives fans a look inside the life and journey of Lilly Singh (YouTube’s Superwoman) as she embarks on a 26-city global tour where she has to remember to practice what she preaches: happiness is the only thing worth fighting for.
- Untitled Joey Graceffa project: Reality murder-mystery series starring Graceffa brings together an ensemble of top YouTubers who must form alliances to survive… but little do they know that most won’t make it out alive.
- 360 Project from MatPat of Game Theory: YouTube educator and pop-culture expert MatPat from The Game Theorists hosts a 360 virtual-reality series exploring the real-life science behind popular video games by throwing gamers into scenarios they play through every day, from water jetpacks to haunted pizzerias.
- “Single by 30”: In romantic drama series from Wong Fu Productions and New Form Digital, two high-school best friends make a promise to get married if they’re still single at 30. A decade later, their attempt at upholding their vow unfolds in unexpected ways. Starring Harry Shum Jr. and Kina Grannis.
- Untitled CollegeHumor project: Written by and starring the cast of CollegeHumor, along with special guests, this new anthology series will take a dark and comedic look at the absurdity of Internet culture.
- “Fight of the Living Dead”: Reality show from Alpine Labs takes popular YouTube talent and traps them in a real-world zombie apocalypse. They must use their instincts and gaming skills to survive as they battle the elements for the ultimate prize of survival.
- “I Am Tobuscus”: Scripted comedy from Toby Turner (aka Tobuscus) explores the world of a self-involved YouTube creator pursuing bigger stardom. The show features original music, and satirizes the digital stardom.
Check out Google’s official YouTube Red introduction video below.