YouTube is planning to launch its YouTube Red subscription service in a number of countries outside the US this year, according to its chief business officer Robert Kyncl.
“In December we announced an agreement with Universal Music giving us the licenses to distribute their catalogue on the free and paid part of our platform and all over the world. In France, we are also in discussions with Sacem, SACD and other agreements are arriving,” Kyncl told French newspaper Les Echos.
“All this work now allows us to launch YouTube Red around the world. We have no launch date for France, but this service will be launched this year on dozens of markets in 2018.”
Kyncl also referred to YouTube’s anticipated plans to do more with music on a premium level. “it is true that we are thinking about a better segmentation of the product between music and video.”
Back in the US, meanwhile, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan has been talking about the free service’s recommendations algorithm, saying that 70% of YouTube’s viewing hours are driven by its recommendations – a stat that was previously talked about last year by music boss Lyor Cohen.