Published Mar 21, 2018If you've been finding yourself turning to YouTube to hear your tunes for free as paid streaming services continue to dominate our listening habits, the Google-owned video site is looking to change that ahead of launching a music service of its own.
As Bloomberg reports, YouTube plans to increase the number of advertisements some users see between posted clips — a strategy the service hopes convinces viewers to pay for its forthcoming service.
The news came through the company's global head of music Lyor Cohen. In an interview at SXSW, Cohen said that users who encounter more ads are those that currently use YouTube, in Bloomberg's words, "like a music service...passively listening for long periods of time."
Cohen added that "you're not going to be happy after you are jamming 'Stairway to Heaven' and you get an ad right after that."
Cohen said that the new service, currently being used by Google employees, will "frustrate and seduce" free users of YouTube, including exclusive videos, playlists and other offerings to appeal to listeners.
Cohen also said the service will help YouTube and parent Google "be good partners" to the music industry.
"There's a lot more people in our funnel that we can frustrate and seduce to become subscribers," he said. "Once we do that, trust me, all that noise will be gone and articles people write about that noise will be gone."
The site's relationship with music industry players has been a tumultuous one. In 2016, Trent Reznor called YouTube's business "disingenuous," in addition to being "built on the backs of free, stolen content." A year before that, Thom Yorke had likened YouTube's handling of art and artists to that of Nazi Germany.
"They will appreciate in time the advertising," Cohen said. "Everyone is drunk on the growth of subscription."