YouTube Red: Washing Away Equality?

Since YouTube was released in 2005, one simple thing has made it different from other social media sites. On other sites there could be some kind of upgrade, or class (you would have to pay for), that made the split between the people who could afford, and those who couldn’t. An example of this is on Instagram. You can pay to get old, unused accounts, to follow yours, using an app that you have to pay for. It’s sort of like a bribe.  YouTube was never like this, until now.

YouTube recently released it new service, YouTube Red. Subscribers of Red get access to ad-free videos (while still supporting creators), special shows from YouTubers like PewDiePie and College Humor, and a music service, as well as the ability to view videos offline and to play videos in the background while switching through apps.

I interviewed David Raufer, coffee cup in hand, and he brought up some good points and comparisons. First, I asked him if he was motivated to get YouTube Red. He said he believes it’s very much like Pandora, and that he survives without paying for no ads. He made another good point: when he was growing up, there were always ads on TV. True, people can survive with ads. But it’s not only about ads.

It’s partially about equality throughout YouTube, and the invisible line of “who can pay $9.99 every month” and who can’t. Looking through a Quaker perspective, this might be an issue. David Raufer however, thinks differently. He thinks that YouTube Red won’t “have that much of an impact,” and that he’s “not really worried about it.”

Some questions arise about YouTube Red: Who’s right? Is it worth it? Will it impact equality? We’ll have to wait until YouTube Red gets in the full swing to really get in the know of this “new YouTube thing.”