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YouTube’s ad-free premium paywall touted for 2015 launch

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

April 9, 2015 | 3 min read

Google looks set to push its ad free YouTube subscription service this year, according to a letter shared with content creators and acquired by Bloomberg.

The pivot to paid-for services will stand YouTube more in line with video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, making it less dependent upon digital ad revenue - if subscription uptake is high enough.

Although the company has not officially announced the new service, the letter read: “By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising service.”

The service will likely include offline playability and could even see YouTube negotiate with creators to create content available exclusively to subscribers.

Google refused to admit the existence of the service to Bloomberg: “While we can't comment on ongoing discussions, giving fans more choice to enjoy the content they love and creators more opportunity to earn revenue are always amongst our top priorities.”

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To further monetise its offering, YouTube is also prepping a music video streaming service YouTube Music Key for a worldwide launch. The service, which is in invite only beta, is likely to cost £9.99 a month upon release, matching up with Spotify Premium and Tidal’s basic service.

Below is the letter Bloomberg procured.

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