The prevalence of advertising on YouTube, both at the beginning of videos and embedded in them, is irksome for viewers trying to relax as they watch or listen to content. Now it appears that the company is set to offer the option of removing these ads, subject to payment of a monthly fee, according to the Associated Press.

Ad-Free YouTube Coming Soon [REPORT]

Specific details still unknown

This Wednesday the online video streaming service sent a letter to popular content creators, asking if they would sign a new contract with updated terms to reflect this change. Details on when the change will be implemented, and how much YouTube plans to charge viewers for the ad-free service, are still thin on the ground.

A YouTube spokeswoman issued a statement in which she said that “giving fans more choice to enjoy the content they love and creators more opportunity to earn revenue are always among our top priorities,” although she declined to confirm specific details.

The first pay channels were introduced to the Google Inc. owned service in May 2013, and Music Key, a paid subscription, ad-free music service, was launched to selected viewers last November.

YouTube striving to diversify revenues

The initiative is part of a wider strategy to diversify revenues at the company, although the primary focus remains on advertising. Signs of a possible ad-free service were first seen last October, when CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the idea was an “interesting model.” At the time she claimed that YouTube was investigating how best to give viewers the option of paying for ads to be removed.

Other changes in the paid service are rumored to include the ability to store videos on your device in order to watch them when you are offline, or out of range of a decent mobile internet signal.

It is not yet known how the introduction of a YouTube premium service will affect those who choose to continue watching for free, but it is thought that ads could become more aggressive and certain types of content restricted to non-premium viewers.