What YouTube Red means for creators

Fullscreen creators! Last week, YouTube outlined a new subscription service called YouTube Red that debuts later this week. YouTube has answered some questions already, but there’s still some confusion out there. So read on to learn what YouTube Red is and what it means for you.

What is YouTube Red?

YouTube Red is a new subscription video service from YouTube that’ll be available to U.S. consumers starting October 28. It’ll cost $9.99/month ($12.99/month if purchased through iOS), and new users will get a one-month free trial.

Many YouTube users will likely just keep watching the free version of YouTube that we all use today. But those who pay for YouTube Red will also be able to:

  • Watch YouTube videos ad-free across all devices
  • Download videos and songs to watch offline
  • Keep videos playing in the background (on mobile devices)
  • Access Google Play Music
  • Watch original content from major YouTube creators like PewDiePie, Superwoman, and others (starting “early next year”)

YouTube Red is set to launch in other countries outside the U.S. starting next year.

What YouTube Red means for creators

We’ve gotten a lot of tweets and support requests about YouTube Red over the past few days. Here’s what you need to know.

I heard that YouTube will delete my videos or set them to private if I don’t sign up.

If you’re part of the Fullscreen Creator Network, all your videos are safe and will stay just where they are. (If you aren’t part of a network like Fullscreen, you had to agree to YouTube’s updated terms earlier this month to keep your videos publicly visible on YouTube. But again, Fullscreen creators were already covered.)

What do I need to do?

Again, if you’re part of the Fullscreen Creator Network, you don’t need to do anything. We’ve already worked directly with YouTube to make sure every Fullscreen creator is part of YouTube Red’s revenue-sharing program so there’s no risk of your videos being deleted. So Fullscreen creators are already in!

Do I need to pay for YouTube Red to keep my videos on YouTube?

No. If you’re interested in watching YouTube without seeing any ads, by all means sign up for YouTube Red. But you’re under no obligation to do so.

Do my viewers need to pay for YouTube Red to keep watching my videos?

Nope! Your videos will remain visible to all YouTube viewers, whether they subscribe to YouTube Red or not. The only difference is that YouTube Red users will be able to watch your videos ad-free and download them for offline viewing if they like.

If YouTube Red subscribers won’t see ads on my videos, will I still earn money?

Yes! YouTube will share YouTube Red income with creators just as it currently shares AdSense income. YouTube will total up all the income it sees from YouTube Red and divide that among creators based on each creator’s share of total minutes watched by YouTube Red users. (The only exception to this is music videos, which will be paid based on share of views, not share of watch time.) But for most creators, watch time is now even more important than ever.

How can I make more money through YouTube Red?

Focus on improving watch time—the amount of time viewers actually spend watching your videos. Watch time has always been important on YouTube: it affects your ranking in YouTube search results, for instance. But with YouTube Red, watch time becomes even more important. Creators who get a lot of views but don’t score high on watch time won’t do as well on YouTube Red. To ensure you get the most out of YouTube Red viewers, check out our recent blog post about how to improve watch time!

Overall, will YouTube Red increase or decrease my channel income?

The overall effect of YouTube Red on earnings remains to be seen, but we expect little disruption to creators’ incomes or CPMs. Even after YouTube Red launches, most YouTube views will likely still come from regular YouTube viewers who watch ads that fuel your AdSense income. If anything, most creators should see their channel income rise since a YouTube Red user paying $9.99/month is paying more on a per-view basis than a regular, free YouTube user.

What’s the revenue split for YouTube Red?

Your revenue share (with both YouTube and Fullscreen) is exactly the same for YouTube Red income as it is for AdSense income.

Will I earn income for YouTube Red users’ views of my videos during those users’ free trial periods?

We’ve asked YouTube for clarification on this point and should receive an answer soon. We’ll update this post with the newest information once we have it. Update: If a YouTube Red user views one of your videos during his/her free trial period, you will not earn income from that video view. However, views you get from regular (free) YouTube users will continue to generate AdSense income for you, as usual.

How will payments of YouTube Red income be processed?

Your YouTube Red earnings for a given month will be paid on the 30th of the following month along with your AdSense revenue, as usual.

What’s next?

A few details on YouTube Red are still pending, and only time will tell how the service performs. But we’ll continue to keep you updated no matter what.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Fullscreen support. Good luck with your videos—and if you decide to start a free trial of YouTube Red, enjoy!