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YouTube wants to 'frustrate' users with ads so they pay for music

Graffiti of YouTube logoImage copyright Getty Images

YouTube says it wants to "frustrate" music listeners by playing more adverts.

That's according to the company's global head of music, Lyor Cohen.

Speaking at the South by Southwest music festival, he said they'll be aimed at people who use the site like a free music service.

His comments come as YouTube is getting ready to launch a new music service which is expected to compete with the likes of Spotify, Apple and Amazon.

Image copyright AFP/Getty

"You're not going to be happy after you are jamming Stairway To Heaven and you get an ad right after that," Mr Cohen said in an interview.

The idea to "frustrate and seduce" users is to make them pay for the new subscription service. Much like the way Spotify operates.

It's thought the ads will be specifically targeted at those who listen to music for long periods of time.

According to Bloomberg, YouTube wants to silence those who say the company is harming the recording industry, by hosting so much music for free.

In 2017 YouTube signed a second global, multi-year agreement with a major music label, amid plans to expand its subscription businesses.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lyor Cohen

Universal Music Group said the deal would provide its artists more flexibility and pay, and strengthen YouTube's commitment to managing music rights.

The firm represents artists including Taylor Swift and Jay-Z.

YouTube also reached a deal with Warner Music Group in 2016.

But Mr Cohen's comments about wanting to "frustrate" users may have been slightly too candid.

YouTube has since told Newsbeat its "top priority is to give users a great experience" and this includes making sure users don't come across loads of adverts.

"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."

It's not clear when the new adverts would be introduced or when the Google-owned music service will launch.

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