Most of us are familiar with YouTube. The Google owned video sharing site is one of the world’s largest platform for online videos.
According to YouTube, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year. In terms of video, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
And while we thought they might be satisfied dominating the video content, we had it wrong: by end of the year, YouTube will be unveiling a paid subscription music service. The news of the imminent arrival of the service, which has been rumored in the music industry for months, was first reported by Billboard.
According to reports, subscriptions to YouTube new music streaming will come at about $10 per month, and it would be tailored to your mobile devices, allowing you to either watch videos or listen to musics, without interruptions from advertising.
This puts the company in direct competition to several other music streaming sites, notably Spotify. Spotify is a music streaming site launched in October 2008, with over 20 million users by December 2012, 5 million of whom pay a monthly subscription fee to enjoy music streaming on its platform.
With YouTube soon offering music streaming, record companies will be able to reap bigger royalties on YouTube. According to New Yorks Times, they have long complained about low per-stream payouts from other music streaming sites, although no brands or services are cited. Through the deal too, YouTube would gain the licenses it needs, covering artists’ official videos as well as user-generated content.
In addition to higher payouts, the service could also help organize the messy music content on YouTube full albums and playlists. YouTube has struck licensing deals for the service with Sony, Universal and Warner, the three major record label groups, as well as some independent labels, according to people involved with the talks.
As we previously wrote, with YouTube soon offering music streaming, existing players such as Spotify, Grooveshark, KKBox, and even Google’s very own Google Play Music All Access will be up for a tough competition. Adding on to the list of competitors in the music streaming vertical, the industry is also eagerly awaiting Beats Music, a subscription service expected soon from the makers of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Music executives are hoping that the company’s success in marketing $300 headphones can translate into music subscriptions, which have been slow to take hold, partly because of all the free music easily available on YouTube and elsewhere.
Along the upcoming music subscription service launch, it is also rumoured that YouTube is in the process of a larger redesign of the YouTube mobile app that would offer a cleaner interface for music and playlists.
Read also: 6 music streaming sites you should check out