It seems like the only thing we hear about the upcoming YouTube music service as of late is how many problems it's having. Case in point: the Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube's product manager in charge of music, Christopher LaRosa, is leaving the company in favor of an as-yet unnamed startup. LaRosa's LinkedIn profile says he's worked at YouTube for over four years, and at Google for two years before that. Here's one of his personal highlights:
Lead a 100+ member cross-functional YouTube Music team of Engineering, Business Development, Legal, Communications, and Marketing colleagues worldwide.
As the Journal points out, he's the second person to leave the Music Project Manager position in a year, after Nikhil Chandhok. While we can only speculate on their motivations, it certainly doesn't bode well for the YouTube Music service that's been widely leaked since October of 2013. Android Police discovered software foundations for the service as early as November. Back in May several representatives from independent music labels loudly objected to what they considered unfair contracts for their musicians. The Worldwide Independent Network has not updated its press release, so it's possible that there has been no progress.
Of course, Google already has a premium music subscription service, Google Play Music All Access. The interplay between the two services, and exactly how Google and YouTube intend to differentiate them, has been a source of confusion. YouTube app code suggests an unlimited ad-free service with offline playback and background listening without video feeds.
As widespread as YouTube is as an unofficial music discovery engine, Google seems to be having serious trouble getting a more traditional paid service off the ground. And with every month that passes, Google is only acquiring more competitors, like Amazon, Beats, and Samsung. Who knows - LaRosa might get another one finished before the YouTube Music service comes to fruition.
Source: The Wall Street Journal