YouTube sure has come a long way in the last several years. Thanks to partnerships with companies like Vevo, YouTube has become the number one destination on the web for watching music videos both new and old. Watching those music videos also comes with watching ads by the dozen, but if you’re willing to pay, it may not be that way for much longer.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Billboard is reporting that YouTube has a Spotify-like music on demand service coming soon to a smartphone near you. The article detailing the service talks about it is focused on mobile listening and offers multiple subscription levels depending on how much you pay. There would be a free tier, that is similar to how YouTube operates now with ads, and an ad-free version or premium tier.
If we had to guess how the service will operate, we think it’d go something like this: you, the listener, would pay something near $10 a month for unlimited access to high-quality music video streaming. Whether or not the service would be available through a separate app or through the already available YouTube app would be totally up to Google, as either way would work fine. With a leaked YouTube .apk recently surfacing that appears to feature the ability to continue to listen to YouTube audio with the display off (finally!!!), having the service built right into the normal YouTube app would work well. You’ll probably be able to connect to Google Play to purchase songs you really like and have them uploaded to your Play media library.
If the app works anything like this, you may be wondering, “Why even offer it , w hat with Google Play Music All Access?” Clearly, if this is how it works, Google will have some selling to do. Of course the service could turn out to be totally different. Billboard lists things like the ability to cache music for offline listening and full album availability as possible features of the paid service, but again, if the music is what you’re after, All Access already does both of these things. For all we know, it could be built-in with All Access. We really don’t know right now.
No matter how it works, it will have the power of the name YouTube behind it, which has much more brand recognition than Google Play Music All Access. That alone might push the service to eclipse Google’s previous offerings, no matter how similar of different. The service is expected to launch this year. If that’s true, we should know more sooner rather than later.