YouTube Red to launch in Australia late 2016
Google's ad-free streaming with extra shows version of the service will come down under, eventually.
YouTube has confirmed plans for its subscription service YouTube Red to launch in Australia in 2016.
YouTube Red was officially launched last October, but currently is only available to US customers. Company executives have confirmed that it will launch in Australia "later this year", according to a report in the Australian.
As well as offering original content from established YouTube "stars" like PewDiPie and Lilly Singh, YouTube Red blocks advertising from YouTube, meaning you don't have to sit through the same advertisement every time you watch something. It also allows clips to be downloaded for offline viewing, and integrates with Google Play Music.
YouTube Red is priced at USD$9.99 a month, a similar figure to that charged by existing streaming services Netflix, Stan and Presto. It offers far less "original" programming than any of those services, so its ability to attract new customers may rest in large part on the attractiveness of being able to skip advertising without using an ad-blocker.
Of course, PewDiePie enthusiasts who are desperate to see his YouTube Red-exclusive production Scare PewDiePie (or any of the other Red exclusives) don't have to wait for the "official" launch. Using a VPN or proxy service allows you to make your browser appear as if it is coming from a US address and view that content. You'll still have to sign up for the service, but it does offer a 30-day free trial.
Using VPNs was a common technique for accessing Netflix prior to its official Australian launch last year, and continued to be adopted by some users because of the broader range of shows available on US Netflix compared to Australia. Netflix's recent moves to crack down on VPN usage suggest that it remains a popular strategy.