YouTube is gearing up to take on Netflix with a new paid ad-free streaming service launching later this year. Now a new report from Bloomberg reveals how Google is pressuring its biggest stars to sign up with the new service.
The paid version of YouTube will apparently launch next year, offering a mix of original content, popular personalities and music videos. “We have support from the overwhelming majority of our partners, with well over 90 percent of YouTube watchtime covered by agreements, and more in the pipeline about to close,” a representative told Bloomberg.
The report also reveals how YouTube has convinced so many people to sign up. Apparently the company is pressuring some of its stars by threatening to make it impossible to view their content on the free version. Holdouts may have to post their videos privately until they make a deal with Google.
Beyond original videos, the paid version of YouTube will also offer a few special features. You’ll apparently be able to save videos for offline viewing, and play them in the background while using another app. It sounds like YouTube’s paid service could be pretty great, even if the company’s strategy feels a little too aggressive.