After months of speculation, YouTube is finally announcing its ad-free subscription service: YouTube Red. Next Wednesday, the company will launch what it's calling "the ultimate YouTube experience" for $9.99 a month. The ad-free service will allow subscribers to save videos to watch offline, to play videos in the background on your phone or tablet. The service will include exclusive access to new, original shows and movies from some of YouTube's biggest creators.
The membership extends to a new YouTube Music app the company is also announcing Wednesday. That new streaming music app builds a playlist of songs based on the first track users click on. "Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you.
Subscribers to YouTube Red will also get access to Google Play Music, which also costs $9.99 per month, so it's two subscription services for the price of one.
The company unveiled the new product at an event in its YouTube Space in Los Angeles. YouTube's chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, took the stage to talk about the company's commitment to invest in more original content, while also assuring users that YouTube is committed to its regular ad-supported service.
This is just the latest entry into an increasingly competitive streaming subscription market. Hulu recently launched an ad-free subscription service—for $11.99 per month, $4 more than its "limited commercial plan." Then of course there's Netflix, as well as HBO Now and Showtime's subscription service.
CORRECTION: This version was updated to reflect that YouTube's regular service is ad supported.