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Lyor Cohen
Lyor Cohen (By Noa Griffel / 300 Entertainment via via Wikimedia Commons)

Lyor Cohen’s New YouTube Subscription Plan: Annoy Users With Ads Until They Subscribe

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SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — YouTube is hoping to use advertising in a new strategy to drive subscription growth for its music service by annoying heavy music consumers on its streaming video platform with more advertisements.

YouTube’s global head of music revealed the new strategy during a recent interview with Bloomberg at the SXSW conference, telling the publication, “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that.”

Cohen, who joined YouTube in 2016, is working become a “good partner” and tamp down some of the criticism the company has faced from the music industry over claims that YouTube’s video policies allow users to violate copyrights, and for not paying artists and record companies fairly for music streamed via the service.

YouTube has touted its subscription music service in the past, but found little traction, this time, according to Cohen, things will be different. Cohen told Bloomberg that the new ad-heavy approach will “frustrate and seduce” users of YouTube’s free service.

The ‘seduction’ end of the plan includes subscription-based features such as exclusive videos, playlists and other content that will appeal to serious music fans. As part of this, YouTube has been focusing on creating its own in-house content as well, such as videos that take fans behind-the-scenes with artists like rapper G-Eazy and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, Bloomberg said.

Cohen said the new changes will help YouTube to discern which users can afford to pay for a subscription and entice them to join the pay-to-play service.

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

YouTube plans a significant marketing campaign to back the new paid service, Cohen added.

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