How Is YouTube Originals Doing? ‘We’ve Been Very Happy,’ Exec Says

Dec 22, 2016

About a year ago, YouTube launched YouTube Red, a subscription service.

The idea: In exchange for directly paying the company money (rather than subjecting yourself to display advertisements), you ditch the ads, receive an offline-enabled music listening experience, and gain access to original content.

YouTube calls this, simply, YouTube Originals—episodes, documentaries, and extensions of shows that made it big on the company's free service. Several media-tech hybrids have been plowing investment into original content, Amazon and Netflix among them. But it's a pricey business—especially for companies that are built around being a platform, rather than a content creator.

So how's it going? Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer, stopped by Fortune's New York offices to share.

"We have 21 original pieces of content that we've released this year. I think we have another six before the end of the year. And we have another full slate scheduled for next year. It's relatively early days, both for YouTube Red and for Originals, but we've been very happy with the success because what we've found is Originals not only draw in an audience but also help with retention around YouTube Red."

And it's helped the creators—Lilly Singh and PewDiePie (pronounced "pyoo-deep-eye") among them—extend their influence. For more, watch the video above.

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