Before YouTube Premium became a thing, there was YouTube Red.
Yes, the platform originally named its service under its legendary brand color which rightfully made the video servicing app popular among global users.
But is YouTube Red still a thing in 2023?
If yes, how come you don’t hear it often? Well, have a little patience. The answers are coming right up in this blog.
How Many People Use YouTube Red in 2023?
YouTube Red is YouTube’s first thrust to monthly subscription service.
It made a soft entrance in 2014 and became available in almost all of the site’s serviceable countries in October of 2015.
It came to give users an uninterrupted and enjoyable viewing experience.
As we all know, YouTube is the king of ads. And the best way out of this ad bonanza is to pay the company a monthly subscription priced at $9.99 to remove all these “time eaters” out of the way.
Of course, Alphabet Inc knows its games. Since it makes money from advertisements, it will also want to make some hard cash from removing them. It’s a win-win situation.
YouTube Red’s Annual Subscribers
YouTube Red’s future was looking bright. It launched at a time when people are biting at the concept of premium subscriptions.
At that time, many consumers are willing to shell out a hefty sum to get a daily dose of entertainment, let alone from one of their go-to social media sites.
Take a look at YouTube Red’s annual subscriber count from 2015 to 2018.
- 2015 – on its first year in the market, YouTube Red reported an annual subscriber count of 1.5 million
- 2016 – on its second year, the figures doubled to 3 million annual subscribers. But given the rapid expansion of the user bases of its direct competitors, things are clearly turning sour for the venture
- 2017 – things went downhill from there, with YouTube Red losing its grip on the competition. Its subscriber count fell to 2.8 million in 2017 from 3.0 million in 2016
- 2018 – on its final year under the brand name “YouTube Red”, it recovered to hit an annual user count of 10 million. But the management decided it is time for a change after giving it a hard push for four years and putting millions of dollars into marketing the premium service to waste
Age Demographics of YouTube Red Subscribers in 2017
In 2017, millennials occupied the majority of YouTube Red’s subscriber base, capturing 27% of the total. Below are YouTube Red’s age demographics, recorded in February 2017.
- Millennials – this generation occupied 27% of YouTube Red’s total subscriber base during the year
- Generation X – this generation occupied 17% of YouTube Red’s total subscriber base during the year
- Baby Boomers – this generation occupied 6% of YouTube Red’s total subscriber base during the year
- Retirees – they occupied 3% of YouTube Red’s total subscriber base during the year
YouTube Red to YouTube Premium
Aside from its stale marketing appeal, YouTube Red has also been associated with the porn site “RedTube” as both sound like one the same.
In 2018, YouTube decided it is time to deviate from the adult site and brand its subscription service as what it truly offers: premium access to YouTube’s exclusive offerings.
Thus, the birth of YouTube Premium during the year.
Under this premium subscription, users are given access to YouTube’s paid movies, while having unlimited offline downloads, and enjoying YouTube Music, and YouTube Kids for free.
YouTube Premium’s base tier comes at $11.99 per month, with a discounted price of $119.99 for 12-month access.
All users are entitled to a month-long subscription before making any payment.
YouTube Premium’s Annual Subscribers Over the Years
YouTube Premium’s rebranding turned out to be one of the best moves the company had done since its inception.
By its first year in the market, it managed to bring in 8 million new users to its roster of paying users.
It did not stop from there. The subscription service hit massive success during the pandemic, at a time when rival Netflix also reported a record-breaking number of new user additions to its platform.
Below are details on YouTube Premium’s annual subscriber count covering 2019 to 2021.
- 2019 – YouTube Premium welcomed 8 million new users from a year ago, sending its total user count to 18 million
- 2020 – the positive momentum continued. The service ended the year with 12 million year-on-year user additions to 30 million
- 2021 – this year was the most successful for YouTube Premium. The service ended the year with 50 million users under its roster
YouTube’s Subscription Revenue is Growing
There is no question that YouTube makes tons of cash from its advertising business.
Up until today, its business model leans heavily towards companies who are willing to pay tons of cash to see their videos show before a video plays.
But it will not be too long before this business status quo will undergo an important change. YouTube’s subscription service is the company’s secondary revenue source.
Reports show that the department now accounts for roughly 8% of the platform’s overall revenue, clocking an estimated $600 million every year.
This is still comparably lower compared to Netflix’s $7.2 billion annual revenue.
But it is catching up very fast, especially now that the movie streaming giant has shown a significant loss of momentum in the past quarters.
YouTube Red is now officially a thing of the past, but its new version, YouTube Premium has reached the success it failed to hit.
Today, there are 50 million users globally under YouTube’s roster of paying customers.
Collectively, they bring in an average of $600 million into the platform’s pockets every year.
Analysts are convinced that YouTube Premium will reach greater heights in the coming years, especially now that Netflix is showing signs of lost momentum and tricking new user additions.
Thank you for reading our article on how many people use YouTube Red in 2023.