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YouTube’s premium ad-free service Red to hit 100 new countries

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MUMBAI: YouTube is all set to expand its premium subscription service YouTube Red to as many as 100 countries, according to YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki. The target countries haven’t yet been decided.

While never specifically mentioning the merger of Google Play Music with YouTube Red, she hinted that YouTube Red is a music-first product.

Speaking at the Code Media conference in California, Wojcicki said, “I think our goal is to continue to increase what we’re doing. We are building that muscle of creating content; we’ll continue to do more and more and we’ll see what’s successful, we’ll see what our users respond to, what’s driving subscriptions, what’s being watched. I think one of the really amazing things about YouTube is the platform and the data that we have.”

Google’s YouTube Red is a rival to Spotify, Netflix, Apple Music, and Amazon Video – and it's going global in 2018.

She referred to YouTube Red as “really a music service,” which suggests that YouTube, and not Google Play Music, will be the forward-facing image of the upcoming product. She said, “YouTube Red is a service that is really a music service. We have an amazing collection of music. We have all these music videos. And then on top of that it has the ability to watch all of YouTube ads free, with the background and offline services. And on top of that we’ve actually been doing a number of YouTube Originals.”

In July 2017, Google announced that its music service, Google Play Music would merge with its premium YouTube service, YouTube Red. News on the merger was quiet until December 2017, when Bloomberg reported that Google would be releasing the combined service, internally referred to as “Remix,” by March 2018.

YouTube Red launched in the US in October 2015 but although a swift global rollout was predicted, it has since only launched in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Korea. The platform offers ad-free viewing and access to original content exclusive to the platform.

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