A year after launch, YouTube is struggling to get subscribers for its Red subscription service. According to The Verge, paying subscribers only total 1.5 million as of late summer, despite having a billion monthly users of the broader service…

For $9.99 per month, subscribers get an ad-free YouTube experience, background play and offline access to songs, and original content. The subscription also provides free access to Google Play Music’s catalogue of 35 million songs.

Its original content has yet to result in any hits, like has been the case with Netflix and Amazon. 20 Red Original series and movies will be available by the end of the year, with more content coming in 2017. YouTube notes that content creators — mostly personalities on the platform — are seeing “a significant boost in subscribers and watch times on their main channels.”

The disappointing numbers are likely due in part to availability still being limited to Australia, New Zeland, Mexico, and the United States. For their part, the Google company says there is “strong engagement” in those countries and that there is “healthy growth of members each month.”

The Verge report also notes that there are 1 million users signed up on a trial basis. The standard trial is a month-long, though Google devices like the Nexus and Pixel come with three-month trials, with Google Home purchasers receiving six months free.

In comparison, Apple Music launched earlier last year and has 17 million subscribers as of September. Notably, the service is available in over 100 countries worldwide and just features music. Despite this, a report pegs Apple as considering lowering the monthly cost from $9.99 to $7.99.

About the Author