YouTube Red is a damn good idea, and I'm not even going to qualify that statement. You know why it's a damn good idea? Because YouTube needs to grow up, and step one is getting rid of those garbage advertisements we all love to hate so much. Step two is convincing average, rational human beings that maybe, possibly, they could see themselves in a world in which they might actually pay to more conveniently watch the things and people they really, really, really like to watch.
At the moment, and probably for a while yet, basically all of YouTube's revenue comes from advertisements.
You can now stream Showtime to your Android device for $11 a month. You don't need a cable subscription. All you need is a credit card, a compatible device, and the newly-released app.
For years now, customers who wanted to stream the likes of Showtime or HBO over the Internet have only had the option to do so if they paid for access in addition to an expensive cable plan. Fortunately 2015 has seen a shift. The option to pay $15 a month to get HBO Now without dealing with all that other tomfoolery launched on iOS in Spring before coming to Android this summer. During those hot months, Showtime announced it would let you do the same for $11―just not on Android yet.
We all know YouTube has been planning to launch a completely ad-free subscription, but the details have been sorely lacking on things like how much it will cost, what will be included, and when it will launch. There may finally be some answers in a report by Recode that points to October 22nd as a probable launch date. The subscription is expected to run for $10 / month and would completely remove all paid advertising from YouTube and include the current benefits of Google Play Music Unlimited.
An update to the YouTube app includes text that describes a product called YouTube Red as the service that enables background playback, a feature that has long been restricted to Music Key (and Music Unlimited) subscribers.
Watching Hulu already feels more like cable than Netflix. You have access to shows shortly after they air, and you still have to sit through commercials. Starting next month, you will also be able to expand your subscription with premium content.
Hulu is partnering with Showtime to let subscribers stream the latter's large selection of shows. But the option to do so will cost more than Hulu itself. After a 30 day free trial, you will have to pay $9 on top of your $8 Hulu subscription.
After the launch of Music Key in November, we've had good reason to expect quite a bit from YouTube. We've seen things like 60 fps live streaming, 360-degree videos with cardboard support, and big updates to the Kids and Creator Studio apps – and that's just some of the stuff from the last two months. We also know there's plenty still to come, particularly an ad-free subscription model. The latest update doesn't seem to deliver any new features, not unless Google is planning to flip a switch server-side, but it gives a few hints about what to expect in the future.
HBO Now got a mention at this year's Google I/O. After ending Apple's period of exclusive access, the service will soon run on Android phones, tablets, and Android TV.
Now Showtime is ready to follow in its competitor's footsteps. Today it announced that it's launching a similar service, and it will also begin with a period of Apple exclusivity. Starting in early July, customers will have the option to stream to their iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Apple TV for $10.99 a month.
Why are we covering this now? Well, Showtime says that it will announce additional platforms soon. So, chances are we'll get it eventually.
Zombies, Run! has been on Android for ages. It was actually brought to life by a Kickstarter campaign back in 2011 and started hitting devices the following year. It has been a premium game this whole time with a $4 price tag, but now Zombies, Run! is free-to-play with a subscription model. Don't worry if you already bought it, the developers aren't leaving you in the dust.
Evernote has added a third tier to their subscription note taking service that fits comfortably between the free and premium options that existed before. The new option, called Evernote Plus, allows users to upload up to 1GB of notes monthly and unlocks offline access to notes on mobile devices, passcode lock, and a feature that lets you turn emails into notes. The new package will run you $2.99 a month or $24.99 per year.
Evernote Premium, the most expensive tier, retains a few exclusive features to justify its higher cost of $5.99 a month or $49.99 a year. With Evernote Premium, users can upload an unlimited number of notes and gain access to exclusive tools including business card recognition, the ability to annotate PDFs, and the option to turn notes into presentations.