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:
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.