Rumours about a subscription-based music streaming service by YouTube are gathering steam and it looks like it won’t be too long before it comes to life. Google seems to be working on a YouTube feature that will offer subscription-based service even as Google Play has sought license to stream music.
According to a Fortune report, the planning for theYouTube streaming service is going ahead full steam with a negotiating team and an operating unit of its own. The service, however, is bound to overlap with Google’s other pet music project on Google Play for Android.
Google has its bases covered both ways. While Google Play lets you buy and stream music on your Android devices, YouTube allows users to listen to tracks for free. Both the services are looking at involving subscription fees through which users will be able to get access to additional features.
Would you buy a YouTube subscription?
Financial Times had reported that Google is already in extensive talks with record companies to acquire subscription rights to the music. A report by The Verge indicated that the Google Play subscription service is closer than expected, with sometime after July being the company’s aim to kick it off.
Google claims that it is contemplating subscriptions at the behest of content creators. "While we don't comment on rumor or speculation," Google's spokesperson said, "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."
YouTube undeniably is a huge trove of music, with most people preferring to turn to the video streaming service for music over any other service. According to a Nielsen “Music 360” report from 2012, a whopping 64 percent of teens chose YouTube over any other music listening and discovery engine. In return for accessing music, YouTube does not charge the user but plays advertisements out instead. The idea of letting go of advertisements, which are pretty unpopular with users, and getting users to pay for what they hear seems like a very logical move to make for Google.
YouTube is going to get into a space that is already crowded with streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud and GrooveShark that have made quite a little niche for themselves. YouTube’s entry into the subscription market could turn the game around completely.
The video sharing site has already begun to embed click-to-buy links to Google Play, Amazon and iTunes in its videos. It doesn’t seem too far away when users will probably be able to hold a joint collection over the two Google platforms with integrated features like sharing of listening history and recommendations.
This revelation comes not long after it was revealed through a code in YouTube's latest update to its Android app that paid subscriptions were indeed coming to the site. It has only been a month since rumours about pay-to -access channels were coming to YouTube. AdAge had revealed back then that YouTube was considering launching channels that would cost anywhere between $1 to $5 a month to show videos. Google’s video hosting platform was even contemplating to give these channels the option to add advertisements to the paid videos.
YouTube is already running a series of successful subscription-based channels that in all probability will form the backbone of the paid channel feature. When the new feature rolls out, it could be a combination of existing successful channels and newer ones.