Netflix And YouTube Red Are Not Competitors — Or Are They?

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Netflix may have yet another competitor in YouTube Red, a new paid subscription service from YouTube. However, the Google-owned firm does not see itself as a competitor to Netflix.

Different content and a different approach

On Wednesday, Robert Kyncl, who is responsible for overseeing all business functions of YouTube, told reporters “Our membership service is completely different from what Netflix is. Every step that we have taken along the way is 180 completely the opposite of what Netflix is doing.” One very big difference between the two is the type of content both pay for, says a report from Bloomberg.

Recently, YouTube announced a range of new shows and movies featuring entertainers who have become prominent on YouTube. A huge majority of audiences for performers such as PewDiePie and the Fine Brothers comprise of young people, who are YouTube’s target when it makes original shows. Netflix, on the other hand has always tried to attract adult HBO subscribers with its most popular original shows.

YouTube has a huge stable of talent that sets it apart from competing video services. Being a YouTube creator is a big deal. This is evident from the fact that there is no such things like a Vessel creator or Netflix creator or even Facebook video creator.

YouTube can be Netflix

If in the future, YouTube plans to compete more directly with Netflix, it will have one major tool at its disposal to copy Netflix’s original programming strategy, i.e. the resources to pay the production firms for original shows. On the other hand, Netflix lacks one major ingredient that YouTube has, i.e. millions of young people willing to post free content on the platform hoping to get famous.

Richard Raddon, founder and CEO of Zefr, a company that helps advertisers with video ads, told Bloomberg that such a flexibility makes its “easier for YouTube to become Netflix, than for Netflix to become YouTube.” YouTube also offers users to play videos offline, and the ability to run YouTube videos in the background of a mobile device.

In other ways, YouTube will look much less like television. Some of the original shows will not fit into usual 22-minute or 44-minute windows. There will be new programs with duration’s as little as six minutes. When asked when the shows produced for YouTube Red will become available to viewers on other platforms, the YouTube executives failed to provide any specifics.

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