YouTube is reportedly in the process of creating what Billboard calls a “premium on-demand music service” set to launch later this year. This offering would be mobile-focused and give users the option of listening for free or paying to have unlimited access to the service’s full catalog of tracks.
Here’s what Billboard is saying: both of the free and paid versions allow unlimited access to the music on YouTube, but the difference is whether or not you get ads. It’s also said that if YouTube goes the route of a premium service, it might give the service more flexibility in how it packages the music and potentially help with any licensing fees.
Could this be a chance to compete against the likes of Vevo? Interestingly, the music service, which is a creation by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Abu Dhabi Media, and … Google, cross-posts content to YouTube that features ads at the beginning of the music videos. But, since Vevo is supported by the major record labels, chances are that many more music videos probably go to that service instead of YouTube.
Billboard claims that the premium music service could make its debut when YouTube reveals its redesigned mobile app that will give users “a simple, clean interface in which to listen to music, create custom playlists, and watch videos at the same time.”
How much would this music service cost you? That remains a mystery.
It would seem that if this were true, the elements are all lined up for YouTube to execute this plan. It already offers a automated playlist feature and other music discovery features. But if you look at the difference between the free and the paid versions and the only difference is that it’s the loss of ads, then is the program actually that interesting? It doesn’t seem like it. But maybe this also benefits content creators as well, not just the brand labels who are promoting the latest Miley Cyrus song.
A YouTube spokesperson provided this statement:
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.
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