Update: A YouTube spokesperson has provided the following statement to clarify the use of ads.
Our top priority at YouTube is to deliver a great user experience and that includes ensuring users do not encounter excessive ad loads. We do not seek to specifically increase ad loads across YouTube. For a specific subset of users who use YouTube like a paid music service today – and would benefit most from additional features – we may show more ads or promotional prompts to upsell to our paid service. End of update.
YouTube will begin increasing the number of ads between music videos. It's no secret that YouTube has plans to launch a new, Spotify-rivaling streaming service sometime in the near future that is set to combine both YouTube Red and Google Play Music into one. And now, in an attempt to push users toward this premium service, it appears YouTube has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Speaking at the annual South by Southwest music festival, YouTube's global head of music Lyor Cohen has revealed that ads will play a big role in the company's future plans. In fact, once the new streaming service launches, it appears YouTube will begin pushing out more ads to users, more specifically to those who listen to music for long periods of time. Cohen claims that many of these users will not "be happy" when a particular song ends and they are redirected to an ad as soon as it's over, but it appears this is part of a much wider strategy that should push users toward the new premium service that will do away with ads altogether. The new subscription plan will not only remove ads, though. In fact, it will also grant users access to exclusive content on the popular video site, as well as playlists and other content, all of which will be designed to "frustrate and seduce" those on the free tier while also appealing to music fans. The premium offering should help improve YouTube's relationship with record labels across the globe who have often accused the service of not paying them or their respective artists enough in royalties, not to mention the fact that a number of videos hosted on the service are still regularly reported as breaching copyright terms.
Cohen confirmed that YouTube has plans for a huge marketing campaign to promote the service once launched, and it appears the head of music is very optimistic about the service's possibilities. He stated that YouTube has "a lot more people" that can potentially become subscribers when compared to rivaling music services, and, as it grows its user base, he expects all the "noise" surrounding the company's relationship with record companies to disappear. YouTube is yet to confirm the official name and launch date of the streaming platform, but with Spotify and Apple Music so far ahead in the game, Google's subsidiary will likely have a significant amount of catching up to do before it can successfully take on its rivals.