YouTube Expected To Launch Music Subscription Service Soon
October 24, 2013
YouTube is reportedly throwing its hat in the ring of digital music subscription services, with its own offering expected to launch by the end of 2013. According to Billboard, The New York Times and other outlets, the "premium, on-demand music service" would be similar to Spotify, but with videos. The service would be aimed at mobile users, and include a free tier as well as a premium option with unlimited access. This would work similarly to YouTube owner Google's All Access music subscription service, and its subscribers would likely have free access to the new service as well.
Billboard adds that the premium tier would offer the ability to listen to songs offline, as well as an ad-free option. The free version would essentially be unlimited as well, but sources said that by offering a paid subscription version as well, YouTube would acquire licenses for the content, giving it more flexibility and options. Subscriptions could run at $10/month, according to the New York Times.
The Times also notes that mobile traffic to YouTube has greatly increased recently, "but the lower advertising rates on tablets and smartphones have caused some music labels to block their content from those devices. Through the subscription deals, YouTube would gain the licenses it needs to stream music to any device." Labels and publishers would receive a higher royalty rate than they currently earn from YouTube, and videos on the service would be better organized and cataloged.
YouTube is believed to have already locked in licensing deals with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Bros., according to the Times' sources. However, it is unknown how many independent labels have reached deals for the service.
The launch of this service could also be timed with an impending redesign of YouTube's mobile app by the end of the year as well.