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Is YouTube Premium Dying?

YouTube is bringing its Premium content to its ad-supported platform next year, a move that seemingly suggests the possible death of the subscription service. However, the Google-owned video service is playing coy when asked if is planning to dissolve YouTube Premium. 

In a shocking turn of events, YouTube announced Tuesday that its original video content will no longer be tucked behind a paywall in 2019. This means its video programs for users who are paying for its Premium subscription service will be available on its main website for free, but with ads. 

A spokesperson for YouTube explained to ( Business Insider that the decision to bring Premium content to the ad-supported platform was mainly due to the company's desire to expand its original content's reach to more audience and to establish a more global fanbase. 

Nevertheless, the move is still a big surprise to many considering that YouTube Premium was launched just this May. It has only been less than eight months since users started paying $11.99 per month for the product that combines YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Originals. 

When YouTube Originals becomes available for free to everyone next year, many Premium subscribers may opt to ditch the ads-free, video-focused facet of the subscription service and just pay only for the YouTube Music Premium service, which costs $10 per month to maintain. 

It is important to note, however, that only the new Originals content will be made available for free next year. Existing content from shows like "Cobra Kai" will remain exclusive to Premium subscribers. This means YouTube Originals shows that have already been produced and are already available on the platform would still be tucked behind a paywall. 

Moving forward, YouTube Premium will be attractive to consumers who yearn for an ad-free experience and those who want to save their favorite shows for offline viewing. Another selling point of the paid service is early access to original content, as pointed out by ( Variety . 

YouTube Premium is available to 29 countries all over the world. It's not clear how many users are subscribed to the service, since YouTube refuses to disclose the total number of subscribers. However, the shift in its strategy would make YouTube Originals content accessible to the nearly 2 billion users of the ad-supported YouTube worldwide. 

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Nov 28, 2018
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