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According to an email sent to YouTube Partners, as well as a message visible in the Creator Studio, YouTube has updated their monetization policies and has begun implementing a system that would allow users to not see advertisements in exchange for a monthly fee. Below is the email sent to all YouTube Partners about the update as it appeared in my inbox.

Dear YouTube Partner,

Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we’ve taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we’ve seen tremendous engagement. And we’ve seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience— it’s already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month.

We’re excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue.

So what’s next?

Launching a new paid offering will require us to update your terms through your Creator Studio Dashboard—a process that should feel familiar to anyone who went through a similar process three years ago when we began distributing and monetizing your content on mobile devices. Today, mobile represents over half of all watchtime and mobile revenue is up 200% in the last year. Just as with mobile, we’re confident this latest contract update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you. Please look out for our notification, review it and let us know your thoughts.

It’s an exciting year for YouTube, as we push ourselves into uncharted territories. But we continue to be guided by a desire to deliver the choices fans want and the revenue you need. By working closely with you, we know it’ll be a successful journey.

The YouTube Team

The email is unclear as to whether or not the system is currently launching or when a launch will be, though a decent wading through the options and studio pages doesn’t show any indication of its current existence. A brief look at the monetization permissions don’t reveal any new information, and it’s possible that YouTube has simply not yet been updated. What is also unclear is how this will affect the usage of ad blocking software on YouTube, or whether or not views by users with these permissions will still contribute to the pay of that creator.

As always this article will be updated when more information is available.

Xavier Mendel

I've been talking about games for as long as I can remember, and now I'm writing about them! Follow me on Twitter @XavierMendel for hilarious(ly bad) jokes.

  • Travis

    Interesting. I wonder how the new terms will work exactly. I’d like to think there’d be some sort of view tracking, so my view would directly translate into that fraction of a penny for the creator.

  • CPMs (dollars per 1,000 views) can range anywhere from $1/1000 to like $30/1000. You’d have to watch hundreds or thousands of videos for YouTube to “lose money” (so to speak) assuming really good rates (which rarely happen).

    So long as the money actually gets to the content creators in the same way I’m sure people would do it.

  • BurntToShreds

    As long as the regular ad-supported YouTube operates the exact same as it always has. I don’t want to have to deal with overwhelming advertisements as Google tries to pressure people to subscribe. Hopefully Google understands that its billions of users won’t take kindly to having tons of ads stuffed in the middle of whatever they’re trying to watch.

  • Nope Naw

    “they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind.”

    I need a new spleen. I ruptured mine from laughing at the notion that YouTube gives a flying fuck about their users wants or needs.


    I must be a time traveler, because i’ve had ad-free YouTube for years.

    It’s called “Installing AdBlock”.

  • Brad Sherard

    The existence of youtube itself, created by enormous amount of labor over many years, used by millions of people voluntarily, is an absolute refutation of the notion that google’s youtube team doesn’t ‘give a flying fuck’ about their users wants.

  • Nope Naw

    The removal of the subscriptions grid: Users didn’t want it. YouTube didn’t care.

    The addition of the single column feed on the homepage: Users didn’t want it. YouTube didn’t care.

    The forceful integration of Google+: Users didn’t want it. YouTube didn’t care.

    The removal of video responses: Users didn’t want it. YouTube didn’t care.

    The easily abusable automated systems: Users didn’t want it. YouTube didn’t care.

    The argument that millions use it is deeply flawed, because there is no real alternative. No other video site can compete with YouTube. It’s not a matter of using it voluntarily or not, because as stated, there is no alternative that is strong enough to compete.

    Try. Again.