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YouTube wants to ‘frustrate and seduce’ people into paying for music

Its global head of music has a plan to make you pay.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Mar 23, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 8:45 pm CDT

Another big idea has come out of the YouTube think tank, this time from its global head of music.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lyor Cohen fleshed out a new plan to make people pay for its music subscription service: more ads. If you use YouTube to stream music for periods of time or make playlists, you’ll now be interrupted, which Cohen hopes will make you pay. “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that,” he surmised.

Cohen went even further with a new term for this plan: “frustrate and seduce,” which sounds a little pickup artist-y. He also hopes they can “smoke out” the people who could afford the new service, which probably means a massive ad campaign is coming.

“There’s a lot more people in our funnel that we can frustrate and seduce to become subscribers,” he said. “Once we do that, trust me, all that noise will be gone and articles people write about that noise will be gone.”

YouTube’s music subscription service has already gone through a few guises, and there has been concern over its impact on artists. But then there’s been concern about YouTube as a whole, too. At SXSW, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed its issues with conspiracy theories and misinformation and announced a new feature that will provide additional context on conspiracy-related videos, which will come from Wikipedia. It’s a move that received backlash and face-palms, but YouTube seems to be throwing a lot at the wall right now and hoping something works.

Update 4:28pm CT, March 23: YouTube shared a statement with the Daily Dot clarifying its intent with this idea: “Our top priority at YouTube is to deliver a great user experience and that includes ensuring users do not encounter excessive ad loads. 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.”

H/T Bloomberg 

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2018, 5:09 pm CDT