YouTube Red, the ad-free, premium content-filled subscription service run by the world’s biggest video site, is available in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. The logical next landing spot is the UK, and that’s exactly where YouTube Red’s expansion plans lie. According to information reported by The Telegraph and others, YouTube Red is slated to launch for British consumers in 2017, but the video site first has to negotiate deals with music labels and related rights holders.
YouTube’s premium content plans often include deals with the recording industry. It is no secret that many labels and other music executives are not happy with what they perceive to be inadequate royalties generated by YouTube videos, and they would like to negotiate more favorable deals. The disconnect between YouTube and the music industry was one reason why the video site encountered many delays when preparing a premium music service that was ultimately launched alongside YouTube Red.
As a result, an ad-free music streaming service is now bundled together with YouTube Red, so as YouTube looks to launch its subscription-based product abroad, it must cut more deals with labels. The Telegraph’s report noted there is no guarantee YouTube Red will launch in the UK if YouTube and its frequent opponents in the music industry cannot come to terms.
That being said, consumers should expect any necessary deals to be negotiated, because YouTube is bullish on Red and has a lot to gain by launching the service in the UK. It has already enlisted some of that country’s top online video stars — including the inseparable duo of Dan Howell and Phil Lester — for YouTube Red original programs.
Once YouTube Red arrives in the UK, The Telegraph notes that it could soon extend to other European territories.