Web

YouTube is close to launching an ad-free subscription program

YouTube Subscription Service
Bloomua/Shutterstock
Ads on YouTube are an undoubted annoyance, but usually a necessary evil – content creators have to eat, too. An agreeable middle ground, though, is reportedly on the verge of launch: according to The Verge, YouTube’s ad-free subscription offering is due within “months.”

The alleged program being bandied about to video creators seems fairly customizable. A standard subscription will cost around $10 a month and include the ability to download videos to mobile devices and watch them without an internet connection. It’ll also remove advertisements from videos, of course, and allow channel owners to lock certain content from unsubscribed viewers.

Some details have yet to be finalized. As it currently stands, the new subscription program won’t preclude separate, cheaper category-specific services like YouTube Music Key. And the service is currently without a name.

The payment aspects of the program, though, have already been laid out. Unlike YouTube’s current revenue-sharing program, which sees the company take a 45 percent cut of advertising, partners will receive 55 percent of the subscription revenue. Money from the pool will be divvied out based on viewing statistics – the more minutes visitors spend watching content, the larger the cut.

Not every content creator will be happy with those terms, but they’ll sadly have little choice in the matter. Partners who don’t agree to the new service will have all of their videos set to private, according to the unnamed sources. YouTube took a similar path with Music Key last year, offering music artists the stark choice of joining the subscription offering or risk losing all monetization options.

Whether the new program will boost YouTube’s stagnant bottom line is uncertain. Subscription web video services are few and far between, but the closest analogue – Vessel – charges only $3 a month for premium content on 135 channels. YouTube certainly has the audience, but whether that audience will value ad-free video and offline watching at a price equivalent to paid Spotify or Netflix tiers remains to be seen.

Movies & TV

Netflix confirms it won’t be a part of Apple’s new video-streaming service

Netflix has confirmed that subscribers to Apple's new video streaming service won't have the option to view Netflix content on it. Apple is set to unveil its new TV service next week.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on the ways to watch all the March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Web

Privacy-focused DuckDuckGo added to Chrome as a default search option

DuckDuckGo is now listed as a default search option on Google’s popular Chrome browser. The privacy-focused search engine was added this week as part of the browser's latest update.
Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Computing

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Pro Gaming router keeps you connected at a nice price

Netgear's latest router expands its Nighthawk range with a $200 entry. It's still fast and helps reduce lag in gaming, but it does it at the lowest price of a Nighthawk Pro Gaming router yet.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.