Illustration by Max Fleishman

As its paywall offerings go live, YouTube Red meets mixed reactions

And some YouTube users are seeing red in response to this new service.

Feb 29, 2020, 11:50 am*

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Rae Votta

YouTube Red, YouTube’s paid subscription service, launched its first round of premium content today, eliciting mixed reviews from users and creators.

The primary complaint thus far is a fiscal one. Fans who are used to free content are upset with having to pay for it.

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But some fans who are willing to pay are upset instead by the geo-restrictions of Red, which is only available in the United States.

And this has led to pirating requests for the content, so fans in other countries can see the new videos.

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On the flip side, many fans and creators are excited about the content, and excited about their Red memberships.

Hank Green, a prominent vlogger and founder of VidCon, laid out a spreadsheet for fans to understand how Red subscriptions were more beneficial to creator income than the traditional ad-supported model. The sentiment has been supported by other YouTubers.

Green then followed up the tweets with a sponsored one promoting Red sign ups. He and his brother, John Green, turned down funding from YouTube to develop their own Red program when approached last year.

Red has run ad-free service for subscribers since launch in October, and has doled out payments to creators based on percentage of watch time across channels. All channels had to comply with Red terms and conditions to be part of the monetization structure of YouTube moving forward.

Red will continue to roll out new content throughout 2016.

Illustration via Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Feb 10, 2016, 4:50 pm