YouTube Premium and Music rack up 20 million subscribers
Staff Reporter | On 08, Feb 2020
YouTube Premium and YouTube have more than 20 million subverts together, Google has revealed.
The video giant has been tight-lipped before now about the success of YouTube Premium, its subscription offering that was originally launched as YouTube Red. Initially positioned as a home for high-end drama and comedy, such as Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai and cancelled sci-fi series Origins, it has recently pivoted towards celebrity-driven fare, such as Justin Bieber docuseries Seasons.
Hot on the heels of the news that Seasons has had the most-watched YouTube Original series debut to date, its first YouTube Premium statistics. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, shared the details during the company’s Q4 earnings call, reporting a $3 billion annual run rate in the fourth quarter of 2019 for subscriptions and other non-advertising related revenue.
YouTube’s 22 million paying subs represent just 1 per cent of YouTube’s total 2 billion monthly visitors, with Pichai saying that there is “significantly more room” to grow that figure.
“It’s still in the early days there,” CFO Ruth Porat said, adding that Google parent company Alphabet is “making the sizable investment to build it out, taking the long-term view here”.
Alphabet also revealed that YouTube had $15.15 billion in ad revenue for 2019, up 36 per cent from the year prior, with Porat noting that the company pays the majority of ad revenue to creators.
YouTube Premium, priced at £11.99 per month in the US, is positioned as a way to avoid adverts providing ad-free access to all videos (including music), plus offline streaming, background playback and early access to YouTube Originals.