Youtube, the world’s second largest search engine and the world’s largest digital repository of steaming media, will launch a new subscription based music service later this year.
The service is expected to have its own operations but there is also a possibility that some functions might overlap with new features rumored to be coming to the Google Play music section.
If you thought Youtube was already a music streaming service then you maybe fairly right. But the new music streaming service will be fully dedicated to licensed music content from around the world and allow you to listen to songs for free. The subscription will allow you to unlock more features. So, mostly it will be a freemium model.
Through a spokesperson, YouTube issued the following statement: “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.”
YouTube is already one of the most heavily used music services in the world, but it hasn’t yet charged users. Instead, it sells ads against its music videos; a cut goes back to the record companies.
Warner Music Group has struck a licensing deal with Google for two distinct subscription services – one through its YouTube online video property and another via its Google Play platform. Google is also in deep negotiations with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and other labels to nail down an agreement similar to the one it now has with Warner.
Most of the website’s top viewed videos are music, and the viewers of those videos represent a demographic that the record industry has always coveted: teens. Most tellingly, according to a Nielsen “Music 360” report from 2012, a startling 64% of teenagers prefer YouTube over any other music listening and discovery engine.
The new music streaming service has the potential to be really big. Youtube already gets more than 800 million unique viewers a month. Add to that the huge user-base for Android which powers close to 70% of all smartphones shipped globally. So, Google can actually make this big.