The YouTube Red ad-free subscription service was launch back in February. So how it’s doing so far? YouTube says it’s still “early days” but that it’s “happy” and “encouraged” by numbers so far. That said, it was never really about numbers, as VP of content partnerships Kelly Merryman explains.
“YouTube Red just launched in the US and really for us it’s all about consumer choice,” she says. “Ads continue to be our core business, and we are really thrilled about the business of reaching over a billion users a month and with momentum continuing behind that business, so there’s no shift in where our business focuses. But we believe in consumer choice. One of the nice things about YouTube Red is we have created a subscription product that allows consumers to have an offline experience or ad-free experience, but we’ve also chosen that’s another way we can invest in our creators to allow for our creators to actually bring a different cost structure to the platform.”
YouTube is also planning to introduce 15 to 20 original shows on YouTube Red later in this year; shows will include some famous YouTubers like PewDiePie as well as more big names from the community.