Reports suggest YouTube, our favorite place for cat videos and Game of Thrones trailers, is set to take on mobile streaming services like Pandora.
Speaking about the matter, a YouTube representative said “while we don’t comment on rumor or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we’re looking at that.” If a YouTube streaming music service is in the works, the game may have changed.
If YouTube can leverage its offerings versus what is available on the Play Store for purchase, Google has effectively found a way to bridge the gap between radio and purchased content. You could listen or watch on YouTube, then purchase that song or album on the Play Store. Rather than jump through search hurdles, Google could make it a much more streamlined process.
It also has implications for remixes, as well as lesser-known artists. Some YouTube music videos or performances go viral, but sales don’t always reflect that. A remix could utilize Google’s music recognition software to identify the original tune, if the remix isn’t available.
The project is reported to have the support of Time-Warner music, giving it instant credibility among record labels. Last month, Billboard music started working YouTube into their metrics, giving another layer of credence to the service as a respected entity for music. The real decision for record companies is whether or not the free service is lucrative enough for them, or if the paid service makes more sense. Studies show streaming music is popular, but users are more than willing to pay for ad-free music.
We’ll be waiting impatiently to see how this plays out. What do you think? Would you be interested in a YouTube streaming music service? What would get you to use this over the streaming music service you use now?