Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More


Rumors are circulating that the music service might be packaged alongside Google’s YouTube in an attempt to help capitalize on the video site’s popularity with music videos, according to a Fortune report published today.

The report indicates that the YouTube music service, which already has support from two major music companies, would run on a paid subscription-based model and likely provide users with an ad-free experience. The YouTube subscription service also wouldn’t take away from the company’s efforts to create a digital music locker with Google Play.

I’m a bit skeptical of the idea that Google would create an all-encompassing subscription service for music that would compete directly with streaming music leader Spotify — especially one that removed advertisements. Google is an advertising company at heart, and YouTube is firmly focused on video, not music. Also, YouTube basically already provides an on-demand music service that’s on par with Spotify. You can already create and share playlists of music videos, and you can use all that music via third-party apps that integrate with YouTube (much like Spotify’s app platform).

What could happen, however, is YouTube giving artists or labels the ability to offer people ad-free YouTube subscriptions on a case-by-case basis to increase the amount of money they’re making from Google.

YouTube sent VentureBeat the same statement it sent to Fortune regarding subscriptions, which eludes to partner subscriptions being a possibility:

“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.”

This also wouldn’t be the first time YouTube has talked about giving its partners — whether they be music artists, TV networks, etc. — the capability to offer subscriptions. The video site has already started reaching out to some of its channel partners about the new subscription model, as VentureBeat reported back in January.

Music image via DGDESIGN/Shutterstock

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.