YouTube's head of original shows admits Netflix is 'too far ahead' to compete with

Frederick M. Brown/GettySusanne Daniels, global head of original content for YouTube.
  • Susanne Daniels, the global head of original content for YouTube, said in a recent interview that her company’s original programming can’t compete with Netflix’s investment in original content.
  • “I don’t think you can compete with Netflix at this point; they’re too far ahead,” Daniels told IndieWire of YouTube Red, the company’s subscription programming service.
  • Daniels added, “I do think, in time, we can compete with Hulu and Amazon and certainly Apple, and hopefully, you’ll see us do that.”
  • Netflix, which will have spent an estimated $US8 billion on content in 2018, reached a mark of 125 million global subscribers in April.

Netflix has faced competition in the TV streaming field from massive companies like Google parent Alphabet and Amazon for years, but at least one of its competitors sees the field-leading streaming service as out of reach.

Susanne Daniels, the global head of original content for YouTube, admitted in a recent interview with IndieWire that her company’s original programming can’t compete with the investment in original content that Netflix has made in recent years.

“I think we’re in an early stage,” Daniels said of YouTube Red, the company’s ad-free, subscription programming service. “I don’t think you can compete with Netflix at this point; they’re too far ahead. But I do think, in time, we can compete with Hulu and Amazon and certainly Apple, and hopefully, you’ll see us do that.”

Netflix, which will have spent an estimated $US8 billion on content in 2018, reached a mark of 125 million global subscribers in April.

For contrast, the latest reported count on YouTube Red’s subscriber base, from a 2016 report by The Verge, had the company at 1.5 million paying members, with another 1 million on a free trial.

Netflix aside, Daniels told IndieWire that her position at YouTube has allowed her to work with A-list talent that she would not have been able to grab at her previous jobs in network television.

“There’s an enormous amount of interest in being a part of YouTube,” Daniels said. “Especially because it’s a global brand and global platform. I’m working with Kevin Hart. I don’t think I could have gotten Kevin Hart to MTV even if I had begged and thrown money at him. He’s doing this great show called ‘What the Fit’ for us, which we just picked up to a second season.”

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