YouTube Red already includes ad-free videos, unlimited music streaming and the promise of new original content starting next year, but that may not be enough to keep people paying $9.99 per month. Now it looks like YouTube is taking some inspiration from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in an effort to attract more paying customers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube executives have been meeting with major Hollywood studios. The talks, which are still in early stages, apparently focus on pitching original content and licensing streaming rights for other TV shows and movies.
YouTube has also poached a few executives from the TV and streaming industry. That includes two former Netflix employees and MTV’s programming chief, suggesting the Google-owned company is ready to compete directly with more traditional video rivals.
Starting next year, YouTube Red will begin to introduce its own original series featuring its most popular home-grown stars. That should help convince some of YouTube’s biggest fans to pay for the new service, and providing more mainstream content should help the company expand beyond that core audience.