Before truckloads of content creators took over the platform, YouTube was a space to watch music videos and listen to your favourite tunes. As the platform grew in popularity, and OTT platforms proved that audiences are willing to pay to stream content on-demand, Youtube launched YouTube Premium – a membership that not only granted access to exclusive content but also removed ads from videos. Now, YouTube has announced that it won’t allow non-members to watch music videos.
WHAT CAN FREE USERS GET ON YOUTUBE ACCESS?
In an effort to make free usership sound as pointless as possible, YouTube has restricted many features that were once available to all users. For instance, on-demand music, or the ability to select the song you want to listen to at your leisure. Instead, it will allow users to listen to curated playlists (made as per each user’s browsing patterns),shuffle play music, find mood mixes (such as a workout mix), and explore music.
Members of YouTube premium, on the other hand, can play songs on-demand, watch music videos, skip tracks as many times as they want, and run videos without ads.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LABEL-RUN CHANNELS?
If YouTube plans to restrict access to music videos, we might see a significant drop in the viewership of channels run by big-name labels. This may not sound like a big deal, but remember – T-Series is one of the largest YouTube channels, with over 186 million subscribers. Will the restricted access to music videos also result in a drop in subscribers (along with the views)? What will happen to creators who run lyrics-video channels?
These are questions that YouTube needs to answer before taking a drastic step that might result in decreasing its audience base.