Elias Pelcastre

Six days using YouTube Red: is it worth subscribing?

Six days have passed since I wrote a tutorial on how to try YouTube Red outside the United States.

To get you up to speed, Red enables you to watch ad-free videos, keep the audio playing when you exit YouTube’s official app, and download content for offline viewing. All of these features come with a hefty $9.99 monthly subscription ($13 on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.)

YouTube Red gives you a 30-day free trial to get a taste, and you can subscribe on Android, iOS or the web. Putting aside the fact that people outside the US will have to keep a VPN connection on at any time to use Red, is it worth subscribing to YouTube’s new offer?

Red ties in with Play Music, Google’s $10-a-month music streaming service. If you watch YouTube heavily, and love music, you’ll find yourself enjoying an ad-free, offline video experience, and rocking to unlimited (also ad-free) tracks on the go or your desktop computer for the same price.

I can’t give you a full, cross-platform review of Red, as Google blocks its usage on Android and the web outside the US, even with a VPN tunneling app or Chrome extension. But I have used the service on my iPad and iPhone, and I’ve grown fond of it.

Not only can I keep playing the audio of a video while browsing the web or with the screen “asleep” – and avoid seeing a butt load of ads popping every time I open YouTube’s home or start a video – but I can download videos for offline watching. And if that wasn’t enough, I can listen to unlimited music on Play Music, not only on my iOS devices, but on my Android smartphone, or MacBook.

You may like Spotify or Apple Music better than Play Music, but I bet you use YouTube at some point during the day. It’s awesome just to watch a video without having to wait five seconds until you can click the “skip ad” button or being forced to watch an entire commercial.

Google knows the world is obsessed with YouTube (the platform enjoys over one billion users) and throwing Play Music to the mix is a very intelligent move to get people ditching Spotify or Apple Music and switching to the giant’s streaming service.

I’m not saying Red can compete with Hulu or Netflix – although it will try to do it with an array of original “programming”. But again, who doesn’t watch videos on YouTube? Who doesn’t hate, or at least dislike, ads on funny or music videos?

Red will be available around the world shortly, and I bet people will at least consider trying it. Let’s see how many choose to pay the $10 price.

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