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The link:

Ad-free YouTube Red is a pleasant place...I like it a lot. If you want to experience it for yourself, you can get a 30 day free trial right here:

And Google Play Music is also really great and, once you have YouTube Red, you automatically have Google Play Music as well.

Here is a spreadsheet showing increases in revenue for Red views vs ad-supported views. It is editable so you can check my math, and, if you have your own data to put in, check to see how Red is affecting your channel.


Hank: Hi there. So on the Vlogbrothers channel we don't do brand deals. A brand deal is when an advertiser will pay a YouTuber to talk about something, ah- or put like a, like a thing at the end of a video to be like "!" Yeah, we do those on SciShow, we don't do them on Vlogbrothers. I don't really know why, we just never have and never felt right about it.

Now, this is how a ton of YouTubers make their money, and I'm totally in favor of that, we're actually doing our first brand deal on CrashCourse right now, with CrashCourse Philosophy and Squarespace. 

But we have never done a brand deal on Vlogbrothers, though I almost broke that rule for this video, because, here's the deal.

 YouTube Red

I like YouTube Red, as a product, I think that it's great as a user, I think it's great as a creator. It's a good deal for both of those people, in my opinion. 

Advertising is fine but subscription revenue will always be much more substantial for a content creator, and the fact that advertising rates are so low is why a lot of creators have to do brand deals that they don't want to do or that they don't believe in.

And all of that is why, when YouTube came to me and said "Hey, would you like to make a video promoting YouTube Red, and for every person that signs up to YouTube Red because of that video, you will get a commission, a bonus, an amount of money?" I was like "Yeah, yeah,  I totally will do that."

But then, it became increasingly clear to me that I was never going to be comfortable putting that video on Vlogbrothers, because it is a brand deal. It is me doing something, at least in part, for the money. Even if I convince myself that that's not the thing that's happening, it's still happening, right? If there's money involved, then the money matters.

I like money, and I could use that money to do things. I have a new show idea that maybe this could help fund, CrashCourse and SciShow always need money. So I like YouTube Red, and I like money, but I didn't really feel comfortable doing a Vlogbrothers video about this, so here, on Hankschannel, are four reasons why YouTube Red's actually pretty dang great.


One: Add free YouTube is a frickin treat. Now, I will say, starting out here, that for me, ten dollars a month isn't a huge draw on my accounts. But now when I use somebody else's computer and I have to watch ads on YouTube, I do find it much more frustrating than I used to.

Two: It makes me like YouTube more. It's really hard to understand the cognitive load of advertising. That it does distract you, that it does take you away from the reason that you're going to a place. Now, I can go to, no advertising there, no little pop-ups on the bottom of the video, no pre-rolls, no ads even on the side of the videos, it's all just YouTube. It's the stuff I'm here for.

Three: Google Play Music, I didn't think I was going to care at all about, is great. I understand that there are some minor things that YouTube, uh, that Google Play music is slightly better at than Spotify and some ways that Spotify is slightly better than Google play music in other ways. But man, if it's free, which it is, cause I'm having YouTube Red anyway, I cancelled my Spotify. Which I kinda feel bad about, Spotify, sorry, but I did and now, YouTube Red, because of that, is basically free, because I had $10 a month Spotify and now I have $10 a month YouTube Red.

Four: And this is the one that matters to me, cause I'm a creator, it's good for creators. There are various ways that it's better for some creators than others. Uh, YouTube Red divides money up based on watch time, so if you watch a ten minute long video here and then a two minute long video here, the two minute video will get twenty percent of the -- not quite. Ada, I did, I did the, that was a bad example. If you watch an eight minute video and then a two minute video, the two minute video would get twenty percent of the money, the eight minute video will get eighty percent of the money. Whereas advertising basically divvies up money just on the impression, so it doesn't really matter if it's a long video or short video, just if you see the ad or not. It's a little more complicated than that but you don't want to know, I promise. So it's a little bit advantageous to the people who make longer videos, but we have, uh, under our umbrella, a pretty broad variety of kinds of content, and we see that YouTube Red is providing anywhere from three to ten percent of our new revenue since YouTube Red launched. That's a big deal for all of those channels, no matter how long their videos are, no matter what their audiences are. 

 More About Red

That's the end of my list. But you'll notice that I did not include one of the main selling points of YouTube Red, the original content. That's partially because I haven't seen any of it. I haven't seen Lazerteam, I haven't seen Scare PewDiePie, I haven't seen the Unicorn Island, and I haven't seen the dance battle one from awesomeness. I may not watch all of those, uh, I'll probably watch three of them. But I'm also a little bit ambivalent about the entire idea of that. A little bit.

If I had a really great idea that required money, if it was perfect for it, I'd probably do it, but I do feel like I'm not sure how this, like -- having exclusive, behind the paywall content on YouTube is going to affect the culture of YouTube. I'm really interested to see what high production value content designed specifically for YouTube behind YouTubers looks like. So I think that's exciting. I think that's gonna take a while for it to find it's groove. So I'm very interested in it, but I'm not ready to call that an advantage of YouTube Red, mostly because I haven't seen the stuff. But also because I'm not sure what it's long term effects are gonna be.

But yes, you also get access to the original content, you can download videos onto your phone to watch later, if you're out of cell service or don't want to use cellular data and you're on Wi Fi. And you can also listen to videos in the background if you want to like treat a video like a podcast, which I have found myself actually doing.

Those are all useful things, interesting things, but they're not, like -- they're not what gets me really jazzed about YouTube Red. And basically if you have Spotify, I hate to say this to Spotify, it can be a revenue-neutral addition to your household.

So if you want to sign up, you can do that. It's a 30 day free trial. You do have to put your credit card in to start the trial. It's really easy to cancel. It's a one-step process. So if you don't like it you never get charged. But if you do continue paying after the first month, then I will get a commission. If you want Google to keep that money all for itself, you can do that by going to But if you want me to get some of the money, you can go to the link in the description, or click here if there's an annotation. I'm not sure if I can make an annotation link to YouTube Red. It's never clear exactly what annotations do.

I hope that you don't feel weird about it. Okay. And I hope that you can trust what I'm saying, because yes, I'm gonna get money. But no matter what I was gonna get money because the more people sign up for YouTube Red, the more I make a creator. So I was never gonna be unbiased.


Alright, thanks for watching this ramble-y video about YouTube Red. True story, they sent like a deck for how to promote YouTube Red effectively. One of the tips was "Keep it brief." So I fail at that. They did say "Mention the link more than once" so there it is again, and in the description. Thanks for watching. And I'm always interested to hear what you folks have to say about the platform. I've heard some really good things on Twitter from people, that they like it a lot as well.

And I am also just thankful that you're part of the audience and that you watch hankschannel videos, cause that's weird. Thanks again. Link in the description, discussion in the comments. Looking forward to it. Goodbye.