Is there room for another brand in streaming music services? When it’s YouTube, smart minds are thinking “yes,” which is why the leader in on-demand music video is poised to take on the likes of Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, MOG, Sony’s Music Unlimited and the rest.
Already luring more music lovin’ teens and young adults than radio, YouTube is set to launch a subscription music service as soon as December, according to “informed sources” cited by the L.A. Times. If so, it will likely be announced at the first YouTube Music Awards, to be streamed Nov. 3 with appearances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, M.I.A. and the hot crossover EDM artist Avicii.
Getting into the game – matching the “fifteen million track” offerings of established rivals – would seemingly be daunting. But the YouTube service will be able to tap into and integrate the already up and running Google Play Music All Access Service (YouTube is also a Google property) and up the ante with a super search engine and video music options that rivals can’t match.
Pricing is also key – Rhapsody and the just launching Pure Connect services start at just $5 a month. Most others want $10 to $15 a month, the latter price adding download/store capability. But Xbox Music is currently out there with an absolutely free on-demand offering for computer users (not tablets, not mobile phones), good for at least six months, to build awareness and market share. Gizmo Guy has yet to hear more than one commercial interruption within the playback of an entire album.
The music trade magazine Billboard reports the YouTube music service will offer a free, advertiser-supported version, perhaps even with download/store capability, plus a commercial-free pay option.