YouTube's Coachella livestream deal gives subscribers shot at tickets

If you subscribe to YouTube Premium or YouTube Music, you won't need to scrabble with the masses trying to buy tickets at Coachella.com on Friday.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Childish Gambino performs at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival

Childish Gambino is among the headliners of 2019's Coachella. 

Getty Images

YouTube is expanding its partnership with music festival Coachella this year. 

As it has for the last eight years, YouTube will livestream both weekends of the festival, which takes place in April. This year, though, the livestream will feature curated live experiences for second weekend acts, including special performances, artist vignettes and behind the scenes looks. 

And for the first time, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscribers in the US will have exclusive access to a dedicated pool of passes for purchase for each weekend. The tickets won't be discounted, but dedicated tickets for YouTube subscribers means they won't have to fight against the tide of demand on Coachella.com when ticket sales open there Friday. 

It's the latest experimental perk for YouTube subscriptions, a model Google's massive video site has been trying to ingrain among its huge audience of people trained to watch free video there. YouTube has more than 1.8 billion signed-in users a month, giving it a giant pool of potential subscribers. But since it launched subscriptions that strip out ads or unlock its Spotify-like service YouTube Music, some signs point to the site's difficulty convincing people to pay.  

Watch this: Google replaces YouTube Red with YouTube Premium

Next year, for example, you'll no longer need a subscription to watch original shows YouTube created to put behind its subscription paywall. 

The dedicated Coachella tickets will be available for both weekends of the festival when passes go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. PT. YouTube members will receive access codes via email on Friday that off the chance to purchase passes from a dedicated YouTube Music member cart while supplies last. 

In addition, YouTube's partnership with Coachella will expand to integrate playlists based on YouTube video links to the Coachella website and festival app. 

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