YouTube Red's content blocks are a worrying precedent
MANILA, Philippines – As a frequent YouTube watcher, I find myself worrying if YouTube Red will head to the Philippines in a half-baked form.
For those who haven't heard of it, YouTube Red is a subscription-based service for YouTube in the United States. It allows people to see no ads on YouTube, as well as save video and playlists for offline viewing and play videos while using other applications.
When premium subscription service YouTube Red was announced in October, there was a change involved. YouTube content creators seeking to make money off their work had to join YouTube Red or lose out by being removed from view in YouTube Red territories (of which the US is the only one at present).
YouTube Red, while seemingly very nice for those who want no ads and more exclusive content, may be trading off their good fortune by having less content overall. YouTube Red is also causing problems for those holding out against signing up with YouTube. For specific interest-based communities, this also means less content if their favorite YouTube channels don't get with the program.
Back in October, Deadspin was one of the first to spot ESPN's YouTube channels going private because of the YouTube Red changes. According to its report, a YouTube spokesperson said ESPN’s parent company Disney had signed an agreement to join YouTube Red, but ESPN was not currently included in that due to rights and legal issues.
The content blocking in the US also affects members of fan communities, who won't enjoy content from companies that don't get on board or take their time signing up.
For instance, the Japanese music-loving community in America – both free and subscribed users – lost out on many Japanese music channels due to the YouTube Red switch.
Japanese enthusiast news site RocketNews24 pointed out that because a number of labels – such as Nippon Columbia, Pony Canyon, and Sony Music Japan – are having trouble responding to YouTube's request to become a part of YouTube Red, they are currrently hidden from view from US viewers.
While this means that any place without YouTube Red is unaffected by any changes, it also means that locations where YouTube may plan to add YouTube Red may also end up having less content than viewers in other locales.
That being the case, I can only really hope for one of 3 things as a consumer. The first is that YouTube Red never gets to the Philippines. The second is that everyone cuts a deal with YouTube Red sooner rather than later. The last idea is if YouTube takes more time making region-specific changes that allow for customized deals that won't impact users and other companies.
Of these, the third option is the hardest, but also the most advantageous for all stakeholders in enjoying YouTube videos. – Rappler.com