What is YouTube Red?

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House, Abshier House

YouTube Red is a new subscription service that enhances the YouTube experience. The service includes a subscription to Google Play Music. YouTube Red is not just a video streaming service — it also unlocks great features making YouTube a great place for endless hours of entertainment.

The YouTube Red service is currently priced at $9.99/Month with a one-month free trial. [Credit: Im
Credit: Image courtesy of YouTube.com.
The YouTube Red service is currently priced at $9.99/Month with a one-month free trial.

YouTube Red is not a separate entity from YouTube. The service is a group of features that unlock and enhance what YouTube already has to offer. If you are looking for a video service similar to Netflix or Hulu+, YouTube Red is probably not what you are looking for.

Signing up for YouTube Red

YouTube Red works on any device that has access to YouTube.com through a web-browser or via the YouTube App. To use YouTube Red, simply login to your Google or YouTube account from your computer and sign up for the monthly service by visiting the YouTube Red website. That’s it! YouTube will automatically unlock the YouTube Red Features on any device that is signed in with the same credentials. YouTube is currently available on the following:

  • iOS devices

  • Android devices

  • Amazon Fire TV and Tablet

  • Google TV/Roku/Chromecast/Apple TV/ SmartTVs

  • Computer, tablet, and smartphone web browsers (Edge, Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.)

Getting YouTube Red features

YouTube Red focuses more on the features that are unlocked than the content available to Red subscribers. The features that become available with your Red subscription include:

  • Ad-free videos: With YouTube Red, you will no longer see ads! This means all ads. No banners, pop-ups, search ads, homepage banners, in-video text, or pre-video/mid-video commercial breaks. This feature is included across all of YouTube (YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming).

  • The ability to save offline: YouTube Red allows you to save videos, audio, music, playlists, and game feeds so that you can watch content offline. This is a great feature for someone with a limited data plan. Saving offline video content is also great for spotty service areas where you would otherwise experience significant buffering. Content saved for offline viewing will be available for 30 days before expiring. The only limit to this content is the amount of storage available on your device.

    Keep in mind that some media will not be available for offline viewing due to content restrictions set by the video owner.

  • Background play: Background play allows the YouTube app to play continuously in the background even if a different application is open or the screen is off on your device. This is a great feature if you use YouTube for listening, rather than watching.

  • Audio Mode: Audio Mode is only available on the YouTube Music App. This feature allows you to adjust your settings to only stream the audio for Music, instead of both audio and video. This is a way for you to create personal radio stations that would stream and work the same way as other music-streaming apps like Pandora, without using the large amounts of data needed to stream video.

  • Google Play Music subscription: When you sign up for YouTube Red, a Google Play Music subscription is included at no additional cost. This grants you access to a limitless catalogue of music right at your fingertips. You can create radio stations, playlists, and search for specific songs. The Google Play Music service is similar to iTunes and can be accessed through the Google Play Music website or by installing the application on your mobile device.

  • Ad-free access to the YouTube Originals channel: The YouTube Originals channel provides content such as movies, mini-series, and full-series programing produced and available only from YouTube. Stuff you can’t find anywhere else!

    YouTube Red does not grant access to pay or pay-per-view content. If the content you want is only available on a paid channel or paid content, you will still have to pay to stream it.

Cancelling YouTube Red

If you have signed up for YouTube Red and no longer wish to use the service, cancelling is easy. Follow these three easy steps:

  1. Visit YouTube.com from a web-browser.

  2. In the left sidebar, click or tap on the Purchases tab.

  3. Click or tap the Unsubscribe button next to YouTube Red subscription.

The service will remain active until the end of the period you paid for. YouTube does not prorate or credit partial months of service.