Google is preparing to launch an ad-free YouTube subscription service. The online video portal is in the midst of “fine-tuning the experience” which is likely to launch in a few months, according to Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, speaking at the Code/Media conference in California.
Kyncl added that a subscription offering was important to YouTube because some viewers did not wish to sit through advertisements.
The move would allow YouTube to compete with companies such as Netflix and represent a significant change for the site, whose free ad-supported videos attract more than one billion users a month.
Kyncl also added that YouTube’s growth had accelerated despite competition from Facebook and others, and was eager to encourage its best content creators through schemes such as Google Preferred.
Launched last year, Google Preferred packages together the most popular YouTube channels and sells ads across them up front, in the same way that traditional TV ads are sold.