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YouTube business chief: 'I don't think we are trying to copy Netflix'

  • YouTube's focus on funding its own creators that have grown loyal audiences on its own platform set it apart from its tech competitors such as Netflix, Facebook and Apple, YouTube's chief business officer Robert Kyncl said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley."
  • People are willing to pay for multiple subscription services if they each serve their own niche purpose, Kyncl said.
Robert Kyncl, global head of content at YouTube Inc.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Robert Kyncl, global head of content at YouTube Inc.

YouTube's focus on funding creators that have built loyal audiences on its platform will set it apart from its tech competitors Netflix, Apple and Facebook, according to YouTube's chief business officer, Robert Kyncl.

"I don't think we are trying to copy Netflix. We are who we are," Kyncl said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley," where he was promoting his new book, "Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media."

"We are really comfortable with our identity as the open platform, and our subscription service is about offering more choice, more content for the users and more high-value users for our creators," he said. "But we are anchoring off the people who have become huge on YouTube, the 'streampunks' we describe in the book, and they produce higher-level programming with us, with our money and promotion."

Tech companies, including Netflix, Apple and Facebook, are investing heavily in original video content. Although the glut of content has led some analysts to question whether users have enough time to watch everything, Kyncl believes each company has its own place in the streaming ecosystem — that users are willing to pay for multiple subscription services.

While companies such as Apple may license hit YouTube series such as "Carpool Karaoke," Kyncl pointed out that YouTube still hosts the original series that made the James Corden segment famous and has the global distribution rights.

Facebook may be doing more original series, but YouTube's emphasis on fostering its creators by giving them the majority of the advertising revenue and investing in higher-quality versions of their shows will keep it a strong presence, Kyncl said.