10 April 2018
YouTube Red is a paid subscription-based service from YouTube which offers a bunch of exclusive benefits to its members. It has been available in five countries around the world since its debut in 2015 but it seems like YouTube is working towards bringing the service to the Indian market. There have not been any official comments from the company regarding the expansion yet but we saw it popping up on one of our Android devices, the Xiaomi Mi A1 to be specific.
We saw the availability of YouTube Red on our device as we opened the official (and unmodded) YouTube app. It showed a brief introduction of the service mentioning its features and an option to sign-up for a free 1-month trial. As you would expect, we went ahead and signed up for the free trial which turned out to be a success with no hiccups.
Once the trial was activated, we started to see YouTube Red logo on the official YouTube app as well as on the web browser. There is even a new setting called My YouTube Red which offers information about the service and membership details. It allowed us to browse all YouTube Red Originals and stream anyone which we wanted to see. It further includes all other YouTube Red features like ad-free video streaming experience, offline videos, and background video playback.
It is worth mentioning that while signing up for the free trial, YouTube Red was showing all the membership prices in US Dollars ($) and location for our profile was set to the United States in the registration form. There was no option for changing to India or any other location. This is an experience which has been shared by the Mobigyaan team as well who received the feature in November last year. Additionally, we have only been able to see YouTube Red availability on only one device. We tried browsing the website on other devices but it showed the message that service is currently unavailable in India.
It seems like YouTube Red has been under testing in India for quite some time now. This makes sense considering that YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed plans of bringing the service to 100 new countries earlier this year. While she did not reveal any specific names, it would not be surprising if India happens to be on the list.