So, it’s been over a year since YouTube Red was opened for business and the folks working behind the scenes have been strangely quiet about how well (or bad) it’s going. But thanks to some insider sources, it looks like YouTube Red actually has way more subscribers than you would expect… but it’s still no where near big competitors like Netflix and Hulu.
According to “multiple sources with knowledge of the situation”, The Verge revealed that YouTube Red had 1.5 million subscribers “as of late summer” 2016. All these subscribers hail from the only four countries the platform is currently available in – including the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand – so just imagine how many more subscribers there would be if they finally launched it in the United Kingdom!
Sources behind YouTube Red also revealed some more statistics about how the subscription service is performing, particularly noting that “creators featured in YouTube Red Originals see a significant boost in subscribers and watch times on their main channels”. Figures also show that most of the paying customers are devoted YouTube fans, and that they watch “75% more YouTube on their TVs than average users” – which is a behaviour we did not expect.
Whilst these numbers feel incredibly positive, The Verge make it clear that “YouTube is still having trouble getting people to pay for YouTube”, by comparing it to Tidal which had 2.1 million subscribers in its first year of launch. When it launched back in November 2015, it planned to go head-to-head with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, but it has a massive hill to climb to come close to their figures. After one Google search, it looks like Netflix may have just reached 86 MILLION subscribers, so… yeah.
But don’t worry, with more Red Originals being renewed everyday and the potential of a UK release on the horizon, we can all expect to see those numbers go way higher. Way to go YouTube Red!