YouTube has sent an email to content owners warning that their videos will be pulled down if they don’t agree to the T&Cs of its upcoming subscription service by October 22.
The message, which you can read in full below, was received by MBW on Friday (September 24).
It acts as a last warning for channel owners who haven’t yet permitted YouTube to place their content on the upcoming ads-free service.
Ironically, this is the exact opposite of Spotify’s stipulations for upload.
On the Swedish streaming service, all music must be made available to free listeners – you can’t choose to be exclusively available to paying customers.
On YouTube, all videos must now be made available to subscribers – you can’t choose to remain exclusively available to non-paying customers.
YouTube says that it will pay content owners 55% of total net revenues from subscription fees ‘attributable to the monthly views or watch time of your Content as a percentage of the monthly views or watch time of all or a subset of participating content in the relevant subscription offering (as determined by YouTube)’.
In a Q&A for channel owners, it explains: “To give fans more choice, we will be launching a new ads-free version of YouTube, available to fans for a monthly fee.
“IMAGINE A FAN WHO WANTS TO WATCH YOUR VIDEOS WITHOUT THE INTERRUPTION OF ADS, PAYS FOR THE EXPERIENCE UPGRADE, THEN FINDS OUT THAT SOME OF YOUR VIDEOS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.”
“This service will create a new source of revenue over time that supplements your advertising revenue.
“That’s why an overwhelming majority of our partners – representing over 95% of YouTube watchtime – have asked for and signed up for this service.”
It adds: “To ensure a great user experience, we want to make sure that fans who choose to pay for an ads-free experience can watch all the same videos that are available on the ads-supported experience.
“Imagine a fan who wants to watch your videos without the interruption of ads, pays for the experience upgrade, and then finds out that some of your videos are no longer available.
“To unlock these new features, deliver a great experience for your fans, and offer you an additional revenue stream, we are updating terms for all partners.”
According to Re/Code, YouTube is looking to launch two subscription offerings in one: Music Key, which will charge users to view music content without ads, plus an ad-free subscription service across other types of videos. The latter is believed to be code-named YouTube Red.
Earlier this month, YouTube appeared to be taking Music Key out of beta after a series of delays. It sent beta testers a message telling them they would now be charged subscription fees if they wished to continue using the service.
However, it subsequently told the same customers this was a mistake, and that the behind-closed-doors beta was being extended.
YouTube Music Key launched in beta in November last year.
Music Business Worldwide