Yesterday Billboard issued a report claiming that Google subsidiary YouTube is preparing to release a streaming music service. This service would be offered in both free and premium tiers a la Spotify, and it is reportedly a separate entity from Google Play's music service, All Access. Specific details on date and price are not available, but Billboard claims that all the licensing deals made through All Access will be available for the new service and a launch is tentatively planned for before the end of the year.

The report says that the service (let's call it YouTube Music for the sake of brevity) will be offered on both web and mobile platforms, with the free tier having access to all the networked music and video content and the paid tier removing advertising. That would give it an advantage over Spotify, since the latter doesn't offer mobile listening without a subscription. Pricing wasn't mentioned, but to stay competitive Google would need to enter the market at under $10 USD a month. Naturally YouTube declined to comment on the story, giving a boilerplate statement to Billboard.


We've heard rumors of two streaming music services from reliable sources like Fortune as far back as March of this year, and YouTube is a natural fit for this kind of offering. As most of you probably know, YouTube has become something of a planetary jukebox in the last few years, with many artists and labels uploading their own music videos for free (to say nothing of hundreds of thousands of less official uploads).

It will be interesting to see how Google would differentiate YouTube Music from Google Play Music All Access, since they would be very similar services offering very similar content. A music service without the Google Play name would probably appeal more to non-Android users, even with a heavy mobile component, and presumably there would be a heavy emphasis on video as well. Note that Google is gearing up to offer audio-only streaming from the Android YouTube app.

Source: Billboard.com

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • MrJigolo

    Why would Google do this?

    • Danny365


    • Guest

      Make they will do what Microsoft did with Zune/Xbox Music which is give you Music/Music Video's for one price. Fingers crossed

    • Dennis Ulijn

      I can't see Youtube starting a seperate subscription model, but more an extension of Google Play Music All Access. More as to say: "We give you what Spotify and Rdio give you"for a comparable price, but with us you'll get the ad-free music videos as well."

      • Thomas’

        YouTube already has a separate subscription model for some channels.

        • Dennis Ulijn

          The keyword in your sentence is 'some'

          • Thomas’

            YouTube already has a separate subscription model for some selected channels.

      • VegasDude73

        They won't do ad-free music videos... to much money in that area for them.

    • Brad Breitenstein

      Maybe they will do what Microsoft did with Zune/Xbox Music which is give you Music/Music Video's for one price. Fingers crossed

    • Hayden Lueck

      I don't know, maybe there's a chance we'll actually get this in Canada. We currently have no Play Music period here.

    • Andy Stetson

      To enable targeting of users of other devices, like iOS and WindowsPhone? That's my guess.

    • john

      Youtube is their only successful social/media brand. google+, tank, google play, tank

      • Thomas’

        Don't define success only based on your own usage.

      • someguy

        I wouldn't call google+ a fail,I use it more than i use facebook.

      • DigitalDK

        That makes sense Google+ is the second most used social network behind Facebook in just a couple years surpassing Twitter. It's definitely tanking.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Good luck with that... it's not like we need another music service when many already use YouTube... for the exact same thing and they don't pay a dime.

    • Kenny O

      Unless they somehow restricted the (likely upcoming) feature that would allow you to get background audio or audio with the screen off. Not being able to keep the screen off and still listen to music is pretty much why I couldn't use YouTube for music at the gym and the main reason I signed up for all access. But otherwise, I completely agree with you.

      • Walkop

        Thing is though, the rumor states that there will be a totally free tier, just with advertisements.

        They don't say anything about losing major features.

        • Kenny O

          That's true and that is how I would hope it would be. I was more speculating, in trying to come up with a reason for someone to not just YouTube for music the same way they already can. It is going to be interesting to see what the features will actually be.

      • RXG9

        You can already do both of those those with the app "Viral floating youtube popup player" it's free on the playstore, check it out.

  • dhruva

    a few months ago i was looking through the various channels, and it was all categorized neatly. i am guessing they might charge $9.99 for the Music category for ad-free and offline viewing. i dont think there will be a seperate youtube music app, because youtube said we will add the ability to view videos offline and individual channels can refuse. sound plausible?

  • bse88

    I love how Google Play logo is a custom one and Youtube┬┤s is the old one.

  • a.d.AM

    I thought they were going to just play the videos in Google Play Music (if it was avail on YouTube) instead of having the cover art move. I dont know why you would pay monthly to see music videos???

    • Justin W

      You wouldn't pay to see the music videos, you'd pay to have ads removed from it. This would be separate from Play Music All Access.

      • Danny Holyoake

        I actually think this will be an extension of All Access. If you have All Access, you'd get this too.

        • Justin W

          The report mentions they will be separate entities though, which is why I think they will be separate services.

  • laserlord

    Looks like the free music party is coming to an end on YT.

    • Justin W

      I think you missed the "free" part. It's not like it's going to change much - the music videos will still be available on YouTube, and there will still be ads, but if you pay for the service, the ads will likely be removed.

  • Nathan Shoemark

    Maybe the background audio in the YouTube android app you spotted is for this rather than videos then

  • ConCal

    This confuses me.

  • Matthew Fry

    I predicted this from a start. This announcement along with the background audio confirms it. Prepare for audio advertisements (a la Pandora). If Youtube Music is going to have the same licensing deals as All Access I see no reason to ever use Youtube Music. Music videos are great on occasion but I don't generally watch my music.

  • David Hart

    Yay, now google products can compete with themselves :|

    • Matthew Fry

      If they share licensing with All Access, they couldn't care less. It's less competing with themselves as broadening their market.

      • David Hart

        I agree, but it still splits the user base apart more.

        Perhaps Google will see this and offer a conglomerate service with a smaller fee than paying for both all access, and YT Music.

        I don't think this is exactly a bad idea, I just want to see how it rolls out.

  • Ian Santopietro


  • Simon Belmont

    Hmm. If they did this it'd sure make the continued audio playback in the background in a future version of the YouTube app make sense.

    Could be why they're finally enabling that. Just a guess.

  • master94

    Dumb, Google is now competing against itself. People will not buy Play services if they can use Youtube which has a much better name.

    • Thomas’

      Eh, no. I want a mix of *my* music and the whole Play Music catalogue which is a strong point for the Play store. I'm not interested in music videos of singles...

    • Sam

      They already do this with YouTube Movies and Play Movies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Makes sense to me if All Access isn't that successful they might strike gold with YouTube since it has more brand recognition than Google Play.