Last year, Google announced YouTube Red, a monthly subscription service aimed at heavy YouTube users. For $9.99 a month, it offers a few (around 20) original shows, ad-free and offline videos, background playback, and access to Google Play Music and its 35 million tracks.
Unfortunately for Google, the service didn’t quite catch on as hoped. According to The Verge’s sources, YouTube Red only managed to get 1.5 million subscribers onboard, which really isn’t that much considering that YouTube is the biggest video streaming service in the world, with over a billion monthly users. Despite the low number, Google said it’s quite happy with the growth so far, and that it will invest in more original series and movies, which will debut in 2017.
One of the problems that’s slowing downs the growth of the service is exactly its original content, often starring well know YouTube creators. Google, unlike Netflix for example, hasn’t been able to create a real hit that would spike up the subscription numbers. In addition, it seems most of us would rather tolerate the ads before and sometimes in the middle of YouTube videos, than part with our hard earned cash to get rid of them.
That being said, do keep in mind that the service is currently only available in 4 countries – US, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. The number of subscribers might significantly increase once YouTube Red rolls out globally. Time will tell.