Another report now claims that YouTube is pretty close to launching their oft-rumored subscription music streaming service, one that would incorporate videos and offer both free and paid tiers.
The service, designed with mobile listening in mind, will have a free component and a premium tier that offers unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks similar to what's already available via YouTube's parent company, Google Inc., via its All Access subscription music service. Premium features would include the ability to cache music for offline listening and removing ads.
The free tier is likely to be unlimited, on-demand access to full tracks on all platforms, including mobile, said several people who have been briefed on the proposed service. In that sense, the paid tier is more of a "soft sell" as YouTube's primary goal is to continue to amass ears and eyes to its mobile platform to sell ads.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard that a YouTube music service is on the way. Those reports emerged a couple of months before Google unveiled their Google Play Music All Access subscription service. But at the time, there was always a distinction between GPMAA and any possible YouTube music service. Even then, it seemed that Google was looking to launch them both as two separate entities.
"We’re always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans. However, we have nothing to announce at this time," said YouTube in a statement.
Months ago, YouTube gave another one of those "we're not going to confirm anything, but it's a mighty good idea, right?" statements:
"While we don’t comment on rumor or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we’re looking at that."
Basically, this product is probably coming - and has probably been in the works for quite a long time now. The only question is when will they pull the trigger, and according to Billboard's report it could be as early as the end of this year.
Image via YouTube