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Rumors that a YouTube-powered streaming music service is on the way first popped up back in March. But now the service is apparently getting delayed, according to an AllThingsD report citing anonymous sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The service is said to be modeled after Spotify, with users having on-demand access to music. The on-demand aspect makes sense, since that’s how YouTube users are already listening, albeit with videos. Rumors also indicate that the service will offer both a free ad-supported version and a premium ad-free version with a monthly fee attached.
I’ve previously expressed my skepticism over a YouTube music service that doesn’t involve advertising, as Google owns YouTube, and advertising is sort of Google’s thing, not to mention that Google already has a streaming music service that’s semi on-demand with Google Play Music All Access. Still, there are some reasons why the company would want to move forward on this. YouTube isn’t just the largest video site in the world, it’s the largest music service, too. Also a subscription model like this for music (which the industry has established as a viable business model for streaming music) could help Google make YouTube a place where consumers are OK with paying a monthly fee, thus benefiting its subscription service for premium channel partners.
So why the delay? Well Google is apparently not happy with the final product and has pushed back its tentative 2013 launch date to early 2014, according to ATD’s sources. We’re not entirely sure why the company is unhappy. However, references in YouTube’s Android app source code provide at least some evidence that Google is legitimately planning a YouTube music service in the near future.
I suppose it’s smart that YouTube isn’t just rushing this music service out to the public, considering the heavy competition it faces from Apple’s iTunes Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Slacker Radio, and others. Google will need to make sure the YouTube music service is offering something more unique than the established streaming music service leaders. And Google isn’t the only one delaying launch plans for a music service. Beats Audio’s streaming service (codenamed Daisy) has also apparently been delayed until 2014, according to AllThingsD.
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