There's no doubt that YouTube is an amazing service but it also has its downsides, mainly those pre-roll ads which jar you out of your viewing or the ones that pop up just when you've settled in to watch something good.
Well there may be good news on the horizon for those who are fed up being plagued by ads - YouTube is said to be planning an ad-free version of its site. Naturally there's also bad news as well - you'll have to pay to get away from the advertisements. This isn't exactly a surprise, Google and the video creators make a lot of money from those ads, so they're not about to get rid of them without bringing in another source of revenue. So what else will users get for their monthly fee?
It's all rumour at the moment but the company has mooted the ability to store videos on your device so you can watch them when you're offline, perfect for people who have spotty internet connections on their commute. It would also allow creators and YouTube to work on creating premium portals for paying customers, offering them up exclusive videos and even series or original movies in the future, something like the Netflix model.
What that means for the people who aren't paying remains a mystery as well. Ads could become more aggressive and its pretty much a certainty that available content would start to become more restricted. For a community which has thrived for years on free and simple access to millions of videos, it could be a time of real change for those who don't have big enough audiences to support a premium model. Either way, it might not be long before we have to add YouTube to our monthly list of payments for the content we want online.
More as we get it.