According to Variety, those who enjoy YouTube’s thousands of hours of free content will now have the option to fork over $9.99 a month for basically the same thing. YouTube Red is an ad-free subscription service that launches October 28th in the U.S. and will roll out in other countries starting in 2016. Subscribers get a one month free trial, which they would be wise to save until January when YouTube Red starts debuting original content.
These 10 original series—which are overseen by former head of MTV programming Susanne Daniels—mostly come from established YouTube personalities like the Fine Bros, Lilly Singh (a.k.a. Superwoman), and CollegeHumor and range from reality docu-series to scripted satires to romantic dramas to sci-fi action comedies. A lot of them rely on the appeal of combining a bunch of YouTube stars in one project; that’s the hook behind Joey Graceffa’s “reality murder-mystery series” that “brings together an ensemble of top YouTubers who must form alliances to survive.” Then there’s a show called Fight Of The Living Dead that traps popular YouTube talent in a “real-world zombie apocalypse.” In other words, YouTube Red understands that threatening to kill YouTube stars is a draw for fans and non-fans alike.
In addition to cutting out the ads and providing original content, the service also lets users save videos to watch offline and play videos in the background, in case they don’t actually want to pay attention to the stuff they pay $10 a month to watch. YouTube Music is also getting a redesign, which will help it sync with the Google Play Music subscription service. YouTube Music will also have a Pandora-like feature that lets users stream a playlist based on a particular song or artist. Whether all those perks will be enough to get YouTube viewers to hand over money for a service they’ve been using for free for 10 years remains to be seen. Then again if even a small fraction of PewDiePie’s 39.9 million subscribers sign up to watch Scare PewDiePie, YouTube Red will be seeing YouTube Green.