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YouTube reportedly looking for rights to take on Netflix with Red

YouTube RedYouTube executive have met with Hollywood studios in a bid to secure streaming rights to TV series and movies and compete head on with Netflix, according to a report in the Wall St Journal.

According to the paper, citing unnamed sources, YouTube executives Susanne Daniels, who previously served as head of programming at MTV, and former Netflix executive Kelly Merryman are among those involved in the talks. Daniels, who joined YouTube earlier this year, and Merryman, who joined in 2014, both report to chief business officer Robert Kyncl, who also formerly worked at Netflix as vice-president of content acquisitions.

According to the sources cited by the Journal, YouTube is focusing its efforts on new content rather than older catalogue titles that form the backbone of rival paid-for services.

YouTube could stream the content exclusively on its recently launched YouTube Red premium service or it could seek additionally to distribute the content via traditional channels.

YouTube recently launched Red, a premium offering that sells in the US for US$9.99 a month offering ad-free videos and streaming music. The service, which went live at the end of October, is offered automatically to Google Play Music subscribers. The service has promised a line-up of original shows and movies from YouTube content creators, including Scare PewDiePie, a reality-adventure series staring the popular videogame vlogger, and Sing It!, a scripted comedy from YouTube creators Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films.