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YouTube music service now likely for Q1 next year

By | Published on Wednesday 4 December 2013


YouTube’s previously reported in-development audio streaming service won’t launch this side of Christmas, according to AllThingsD.

And while you probably didn’t expect to see the video site’s new music service go live so soon anyway, with it only be first mooted in the press back in October, insiders say that at one point there were hopes internally at the Google-owned company that the new audio platform could go live this year. A quarter one 2014 launch is now pencilled in, for the US at least.

While YouTube is already basically the world’s biggest streaming service, even if that was achieved in a slightly round-about-way, the new venture will likely see a number of innovations: first content owners will be able to upload just audio, allowing album tracks with no video content to be pumped into the system; second, YouTube will go to the labels direct for their tracks, rather than relying on content owners and fans to upload music; and third there may be some sort of ad-free subscription option.

According to AllThingsD, the hold up isn’t, as is usually the case, to do with licensing talks with the labels and music publishers, indeed it’s thought the existing licences Google has with rights owners for its Google Play streaming service will cover the new YouTube offer. Rather, the team leading the new project are not yet happy with the way their audio-platform works. It’s thought that it’s the integration of the new YouTube audio service with the site’s existing music video content where work still needs to be done.

YouTube, of course, is yet to comment at all on its music service plans, though some code hidden away in a recent upgrade of the video site’s Android app offered some clues as to what might be in development.