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YouTube wants you to pay for music, so it will frustrate you

By Sheetal Sukhija, Copenhagen News
23 Mar 2018, 02:45 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - In a bid to better sell its forthcoming subscription music service, YouTube has come up with a strategy of frustrating its users with advertisements.

The company has said that it wants to "frustrate" music listeners by playing more adverts.

The company's global head of music, Lyor Cohen said during the South by Southwest music festival that the adverts will be aimed at people who use the site like a free music service.

The company, which is currently preparing to launch a new music service expected to compete with Spotify, Apple and Amazon and others, has said that the adverts will be specifically targeted at those who listen to music for long periods of time.

Cohen reportedly said, "People who treat YouTube like a music service, those passively listening for long periods of time, will encounter more ads. You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that.”

Experts believe that the idea to "frustrate and seduce" users to make them pay for the new subscription service is a lot like the way Spotify operates.

Reports also pointed out that YouTube’s move could be aimed at silencing those who say the company is harming the recording industry, by hosting so much music for free.

Labels companies have long criticized YouTube for hosting videos that violate copyrights, and not paying artists and record companies enough.

YouTube signed a second global, multi-year agreement with a major music label last year, amid plans to expand its subscription businesses.

According to Universal Music Group, which represents artists including Taylor Swift and Jay-Z, the deal would provide its artists more flexibility and pay, and strengthen YouTube's commitment to managing music rights.

In 2016, YouTube reached a deal with Warner Music Group.

After Cohen's candid comments, in efforts to control any damage, YouTube said in a statement that its "top priority is to give users a great experience" and this includes making sure users don't come across loads of adverts.

It said, “We do not seek to specifically increase ad loads across YouTube. For a specific subset of users who use YouTube like a paid music service today - and would benefit most from additional features - we may show more ads or promotional prompts to upsell to our paid service."

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