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YouTube Toying With Paid Subscriptions, Music Service

by Jacob Kleinman | October 28, 2014October 28, 2014 7:30 am PDT

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YouTube is thriving with its current ad-supported system, but anyone who visits the video streaming site on a regular basis may be tired of the pre-roll commercials. Thankfully, the company says it may soon offer an alternative, though you may have to pay for the privilege.

Speaking at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference on Monday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed the company’s plans to offer ad-free subscriptions. She didn’t offer any specifics and said YouTube is still exploring the idea. “YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users; but there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads,” she said.

Wojcicki made it very clear that the site will still be free for anyone who doesn’t mind watching ads, noting that the company wants to offer multiple options to choose from. The future of YouTube could be similar to Spotify, which offers both an ad-supported free version and ad-free Premium accounts. Of course, it’s also possible we could see even more ads appear on YouTube once the company begins to offer a paid subscription tier.

YouTube’s CEO also touched on the company’s rumored music streaming service, but wouldn’t offer any new details. There’s still no word on whether the Spotify-competitor will launch anytime soon, though it’s possible the company switched gears after losing a key product manager earlier this year.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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