It’s another major upset for YouTube’s forthcoming but long delayed streaming music service. Chris LaRosa, the Google project manager in charge of the music streaming project, is jumping ship as of this Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports. LaRosa will join an as yet unknown start-up leaving YouTube’s streaming music service once again leaderless.
The loss of LaRosa is another setback for what is increasingly looking like a troubled project. LaRosa will be the second project manager to abandon YouTube’s music streaming venture in the last year. He follows predecessor Nikhil Chandhok, who left his post as director of music, paid subscription, and live-streaming products last fall to join Google Ventures. He has since moved on to his own startup, Bento Labs. LaRosa has been a product manager for Google specializing in music for over four years and reportedly took charge of the streaming project after Chandhok’s departure.
In addition to leadership difficulties, the streaming projects has been plagued with widely publicized disputes with independent record labels. A collection of European labels lodged a pending complaint with the European Commission regarding alleged bullying negotiating tactics by the video giant. Leaked copies of the contracts allegedly offered to indies and threats to block content from non-compliant labels have left a cloud over the project.
Despite the recent acquire-to-hire purchase of Songza, Google has yet to announce a launch date for the streaming service. It’s likely that LaRosa’s departure from the project will result in more delays for the long-awaited product. That could be bad news for those complicated music licensing deals, many of which could potentially contain clauses pertaining to the projects launch date.
Share this article with anyone who’s waiting on YouTube streaming music, because it’s going to be a while!
More Music Wars: