YouTube is plunging into the streaming music game by launching its own subscription music service at the end of the year.
Fortune magazine reported that the video streaming site is creating a streaming service that would potentially rival Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud. While details are scarce, this new subscription music service would be ad-free. However, record industry sources aren’t sure how a subscription-only streaming service would help YouTube generate more revenue in the long run.
Since YouTube and Google have a huge user base that relies on them for their music needs, the move will certainly boost their position as a top music source. Already, YouTube has collaborated with major record labels to form the music video streaming platform VEVO and ensured that royalties go to copyright holders through its ContentID program.
YouTube’s influence on the music industry has even reached the prestigious Billboard charts. Last month’s inclusion of video streaming views as part of its Billboard metrics propelled the never-ending viral hit “Harlem Shake” to number one.
Streaming music isn’t the only thing that YouTube has plans to charge its users for. In January, YouTube suggested that they may allow partners to charge around $1 to $5 for a pay-to-access format, and several partners have already been asked to submit plans for such subscriptions. Lines of code leaked by Android Police last month also suggest that a subscription model is in the works.