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YouTube plans to frustrate and seduce you into signing up for its paid services

“You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that,” Lyor Cohen.

Yup, you heard us. Music freeloaders take notice. If you use YouTube like a streaming service and frequently listen to music on this platform, you might start noticing more advertisements soon.

YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen has confirmed that the YouTube will be launching a new paid music service. Lyor has stated that YouTube plans to “frustrate and seduce” people who, in Bloomberg’s words, “treat YouTube like a music service, passively listening for long periods of time.”

Lyor Cohen, Boys & Girls Harbor ‘Salute to Achievement’ benefit, New York, USA – 26 Sep 2016

A YouTube spokesperson clarified Lyor’s statement, “We do not seek to specifically increase ad loads across YouTube. For a specific subset of users who use YouTube like a paid music service today—and would benefit most from additional features—we may show more ads or promotional prompts to upsell to our paid service.”

YouTube’s relationship with the music industry has been a long battle – that the streaming platform does not pay enough to artists and labels. In 2016, over 1,000 artists signed a letter to European officials, contending that services like YouTube were “unfairly siphoning value away from the music community.” YouTube has attempted in the past to repair this. Their premium service is otherwise known as YouTube Red which actually has been on the market since late 2015 – a paid service that includes original content, as well as ad-free listening and viewing. However, it did not garner success.

In addition, Lyor admitted that with YouTube’s new paid music service, it hopes to put an end to criticism from the music industry.

Do you believe YouTube new ad swamping strategy will work? Even Lyor admitted that “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that.” Only time will tell if this tactic will work. Spotify used to be the same way, but then they converted to ads and users were not pleased listening to ads on repeat. Now, the Stockholm-based music service has converted almost half of its users into paying subscribers by limiting what’s available for free.


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