YouTube Red Boss Declines to Share Subscriber Count

Global Head of Original Content Susanne Daniels said Netflix didn’t share numbers either at an early stage, but service is “on track”

YouTube’s global head of original content, Susanne Daniels, took the TCA stage Friday morning to share clips and other teasers from the upcoming slate of the streaming service’s subscription product, YouTube Red — which includes a “Karate Kid” reboot. One thing she did not share: YouTube Red’s number of subscribers.

In response to a question directly asking for that, Daniels pointed to Netflix’s refusal to share its member count at a similar “early stage,” but said YouTube Red is “on track” to achieve its goal.

YouTube Red launched in late 2015, and costs $10 a month for its slate of original series and movies. It also comes with YouTube’s internet TV service, YouTube TV. Daniels acknowledged that YouTube Red currently serves a very young audience, but said she wanted to broaden its customer base.

“While we will continue to work with YouTube stars, we want to expand the slate,” she said. “Expand it to 18-49 and to the non-heavy user as well.”

Daniels also said some of YouTube Red’s originals could find a second life on traditional television.

“There will be a second window available on linear TV for those markets that are interested in it,” Daniels said. “That can happen domestically and internationally.”

The YouTube Red programming chief said that about half of YouTube’s audience watches on mobile, not terribly surprising for the younger-skewing platform, but smart TVs have helped boost its viewing in more traditional settings.

“Living room usage among YouTube as an app and YouTube on smart TVs is growing.”