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PSA: Don’t do an in-app sign-up to the new YouTube Red service next week, it’ll cost you more


If you’re tempted by YouTube’s new ad-free subscription video service, YouTube Red, don’t subscribe to it via the iOS app. ArsTechnica reports that YouTube is taking the same approach as Spotify initially did to Apple’s 30% cut on in-app purchases: adding it to the monthly cost.

There is a big catch about that $9.99 price: $9.99 will cover Android, desktop, and the mobile Web, but if you purchase a subscription via Apple’s in-app purchasing on iOS, the price goes up to $12.99/month. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all subscription revenue on its platform, and Google is passing that cost directly onto the consumer.

ArsTechnica says that Apple users will “most likely” be able to sign-up instead on the web for the normal $9.99/month and then access the content via the app, and I’ve confirmed in a chat session with YouTube support that this is indeed the case.

Once the service goes live on 28 October, simply visit to sign-up, then sign-in with the app to watch the content on your iPhone and iPad.

Via Gizmodo

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  1. Jonny - 7 years ago

    It’s upsetting that they haven’t implemented the PIP for iPads in iOS and I have a feeling with background playing being a feature of YouTube red that there’s a good chance they won’t implement it in the future.

    • Jonny - 7 years ago

      iOS 9*

    • What does background playback have to do with Google deciding not to implement PiP? Even with PiP, you still can’t listen to the audio from a video if your screen is off unless you have Red.

  2. galley99 - 7 years ago

    Not to be confused with RedTube.

  3. dcj001 - 7 years ago

    Actually, it is best to sign up for the – app subscription because Apple will receive their 30%, of the $12.99, and Google will receive $9.09 instead of $9.99.

    • Fabio Pigagnelli - 7 years ago

      So you’re saying, you’d rather pay $3 extra, JUST so that google gets 90cent less? That’s pathetic

    • Philip - 7 years ago

      They’re not charities, they’re both out to get your money. Why give them more than you need to?

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Wow, that is the ultimate fanboy post of the decade………

  4. iSRS - 7 years ago

    Is this starting to smell of Apple’s competition sticking it to Apple users? Because that 30%? Part of it is credit card transaction processing, which is built in to the $9.99 price.

    • Ben - 7 years ago

      Google wouldn’t even receive $10 from $12.99, they’d receive $9.09.

      • iSRS - 7 years ago

        Right. But my point is that using the other methods, charging $9.99, Google is taking on (1) ownership for credit card processing, and associated transaction fees (say 3% for that alone), (2) fraud risks, and (3) the cost of the infrastructure.

        So say it is 3% cc fee. That is $9.69. The fraud and infrastructure liked cost more that 60¢ per transaction.

        With using Apple, they are protected from all that, Apple shoulders the responsibility.

  5. Olde Man (@dho4th) - 7 years ago

    I’m confused: I thought Apple’s rules, re: the use of in-app-purchases, prohibited charging an elevated price to compensate for their 30% cut. If it’s available elsewhere for $xx… then it must be available via IAP for the same $xx. Has this changed?

    • iSRS - 7 years ago

      That was eBooks, and I think something vacated by the eBook lawsuit.

    • Olde Man (@dho4th) - 7 years ago

      OK… I’m WAY out of date. It looks like Apple relented on this rule, for in-app subscriptions, years ago. Sorry.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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