The internet’s most popular music streaming destination can’t make its users pay up.
The service launched a year ago, but had only acquired 1.5 million paying subscribers as of late summer, and a further 1 million users signed up for a free trial period.
While paid video content is one of the main ways YouTube is trying to convince people to pay, a YouTube Red subscription also includes access to the YouTube Music app, which allows users to download clips for offline use.
The Verge also notes that troubled streaming service Tidal had more growth in the first year after its star-studded relaunch than YouTube Red. Jay Z’s streaming service managed to pick up 2.1 million subscribers in that time.
However, YouTube Red has only launched in four territories in the past 12 months: USA, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. YouTube also says that Red subscribers are the platform’s heaviest users
In a statement to The Verge, a YouTube spokesperson said: “We’re pleased with momentum behind YouTube Red and we’re seeing healthy growth of members each month.
“While we don’t release or comment on speculative numbers, we’re seeing strong engagement of the service in the four countries we’ve launched, leading us to invest in more originals series and movies for 2017 and increased marketing of YouTube Music.”
Despite YouTube’s confidence and financial might, its figures are tiny compared to the 75 million Netflix subscribers in the world and 40 million paid Spotify users globally.