Those doubting YouTube‘s commitment to making Red a successful subscription service may reconsider their position today: Google has just launched a substantially aggressive price promotion in the US market.
New subscribers to Red can now get three months of the service, complete with access to premium audio streaming service Google Play Music, for just 99 cents.
The promotion echoes one of Spotify‘s most successful tools for attracting consumers to its premium tier.
For two limited periods last year, including the Christmas season, the Swedish company launched the same price promotion in the US and beyond.
Like that Spotify deal, the YouTube Red offer switches back to a $9.99-per-month price after the free trial has ended.
Only those over 18 years old are eligible for the deal, which expires on June 17.
Funnily enough, Spotify has also just launched an all-new ‘love your summer’ price promotion in markets such as the US and UK, but it can’t compete with YouTube Red’s temporary price point: Daniel Ek‘s firm is offering three months of premium for $9.99/£9.99 until June 30. (Update: this appears to be a ‘winback’ offer, specifically targeting lapsed subscribers.)
YouTube has splashed out on a series of major billboard ads promoting its Red service and exclusive ‘YouTube Originals’ shows in the US: Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip is currently festooned with huge promotions for programmes such as Prank Academy and Scare PewDiePie.
These shows and others (see showreel below) are only available to YouTube Red subscribers via streaming, but can be bought and downloaded in certain territories on YouTube and through Google Play.
YouTube Red enables subscribers the chance to watch videos offline, do away with advertising and play music tracks on the platform in the background of their device.
A Google Play Music membership is bundled into each YouTube Red subscription, while those signed up also get unlimited access to the YouTube Music app.
YouTube is actively promoting Red as ‘A New Way to Support Creators’, noting that the paid-for service means rights-holders “aren’t reliant on ads”.
The service is currently available in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and is understood to be seeking licenses from music publishers to launch in the UK and Europe this year.
Music Business Worldwide