YouTube is rumored to lead Google’s revamped music streaming service. Last night, an interview with Susan Wojcicki revealed how the company sees Red as a music service that will be expanding to many more countries this year. Meanwhile, the YouTube CEO also took the time to jab at Facebook’s nascent video efforts.
As the original “Music Key” name suggests, YouTube originally focused on songs in 2014. A year later, the service relaunched under the current Red moniker with expanded features like no ads across the site, offline download, and background playback.
In talking about Red at the Code Media conference last night, Wojcicki said that it’s “really a music service.”
YouTube Red is a service that is really a music service. We have an amazing collection of music. We have all these music videos. And then on top of that it has the ability to watch all of YouTube ads free, with the background and offline services. And on top of that we’ve actually been doing a number of YouTube Originals.
This description suggests a possible refocus that again prioritizes music ahead of the rumored service launch. The YouTube CEO did discuss original shows in depth, but again highlighted that the company is doing more with music content and themed shows.
All of these shows are something that we’re adding on top of this music service with Red.
Meanwhile, Wojcicki acknowledged YouTube signing music deals at the end of last year and how that will result in Red expanding to many more countries.
This year you’ll also see Red expand into many more countries. We’re only in five countries right now. Now that we’ve finished all of our music deals we’re actually going to be expanding to a large number of countries.
When pressed for a more precise figure, she noted a hundred countries, which would be a significant jump from the current five.
When asked about Facebook’s video efforts by interviewer Kara Swisher, the CEO was hesitant to reveal anything that might serve as a competitive advantage. In jest, she suggested they “get back to baby pictures,” before clarifying that their core competency is sharing.