Facebook and YouTube would be more profitable without advertising

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the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook would be more profitable if users paid a monthly subscription fee.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Many of our favorite applications are free because advertisers pay for them. But what if that changed? How much would you pay for Facebook or YouTube without advertising… and without these apps profiling everything about you?

A survey conducted by a market-research firm found that subscription fees people would pay for these apps would make them more profitable than they are now.

Serious revenue increases

72% of survey respondents said they’d be wiling to pay to access YouTube, with an average monthly payment of $4.20, according to McGuffin.

If this percentage of users would actually pay that much for this service, YouTube would take in $68.9 billion in annual revenue, a 10,771% increase from what advertisers currently pay.

The same survey found that 64% of respondents would pay an average of $2.92 a month for Facebook. This would bring just a 16% increase in annual revenue for Facebook, but McGuffin’s estimate doesn’t include the $2.52 a month that millions of respondents would supposedly be willing to pay for Facebook Messenger. Also, changing its business model would surely reduce the number of billion dollar fines that hit Facebook’s parent company.

79% of respondents to this survey said they be willing to pay an average of $2.78 a month for Apple’s FaceTime. The difference here is that FaceTime has no advertising and Apple doesn’t use applications like this to build extensive profiles of its users.

Users of popular apps would be willing to pay for them.
Users of popular apps would be willing to pay for them.
Photo: McGuffin

While this data is certainly interesting, it might not lead to FaceBook of Google changing their business models. What people say they’ll do on surveys and what they actually do are often very different things.