YouTube Red, the Google-owned video site’s paid offering, will launched in multiple markets internationally this year, according to chief business officer Robert Kyncl.
Kyncl, interviewed by French financial daily Les Echos, said that YouTube’s deal with Univeral Music last month gave it the licenses to distribute the Universal Music catalogue on both a free and pay basis globally.
Kyncl said that while YouTube did not have a specific launch date penned in for France, this was a market that was “important for us”.
Kyncl’s comments came as YouTube renewed agreements with French copyright collecting agencies SACD and ADAGP, enabling authors represented by the pair to continue to receive remuneration for the exploitation of their intellectual property by YouTube content creators.
Google has also been in talks with music rights collecting agency SACEM. Kyncl said that other agreements would follow soon.
Kyncl confirmed that YouTube was looking at “a better segmentation” of music and video on YouTube Red, which currently offers the entirety of YouTube content on an ad-free basis for a US$10 monthly fee, which could enable it to better compete with the likes of Spotify in international markets.
However, he said that it was “not too late” to launch a product like the existing YouTube Red service internationally in a market that still had plenty of scope to develop.
He said that the channel bouquets currently offered as part of YouTube Red in the US would not “for the time being” be offered elsewhere.
In terms of original content, Kyncl said that YouTube would continue to focus on investing in talent that had developed a following on the platform. Investing in this talent produced an average increase in audience of about 30%, he said.
Kyncl said that “more and more people are becoming video content creators” and compared the evolution of user-generated video to the way that digital photography had unleashed a wave of photographic creativity on the part of general user that had eclipsed professional photography’s share of the market.