It looks like the streaming music wars are heating up again, and this time YouTube and it’s Music Key platform are on the defensive.
Just days ago, Spotify announced that it was breaking into the online video space with a video platform and curated original content. Now, even as their biggest competitor takes a major step forward, it seems that YouTube is taking a step back. In an email to Music Key beta users, YouTube announced that the beta testing period for the app would be extended by another four months, pushing the product’s launch back even further.
YouTube’s streaming application has been faced with numerous delays since it was first announced. Loss of personnel and legal disputes with record labels and independent artists have all cost the company valuable time. YouTube faces an increasingly crowded field of streaming music platforms, many of whom now offer video options. In addition to Spotify’s recently announced foray into original video there’s also Tidal, the subscription streaming platform owned by hip-hip mogul Jay-Z. With its exclusive grip on new music and new music videos from prominent artists, Tidal presents a small but visble threat to YouTube’s music video hegemony.
For their part YouTube has portrayed the delay as positive news for users — four more months of free service before the paid subscription goes live. Music Key was originally scheduled to launch in early 2015 but that deadline has come and gone, and each day the competition grows more numerous and more entrenched in the minds of potential users.
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