We’ve all done it: when you want to just quickly listen to that one song while you’re out with friends, you do a quick search on YouTube to see if it’s there. Then that song leads you to other songs. Maybe a theme song from a cartoon show you remember. Maybe a 40-minute compilation of polka medleys from Weird Al. But if a report from Billboard today is accurate, YouTube may soon be launching an actual subscription music service in the same vein of Spotify or parent company Google’s All Access music service.
The post cites “sources familiar with the plans,” which apparently include an ad-supported free level, as well as a premium subscription level that offers up a larger catalog of music—for which the video site already has licenses, the post points out. In short, it’s basically the same kind of deal as Google Music All Access, but with video, more advertisements, and a built-in audience. While Google Music certainly hasn’t achieved widespread adoption, YouTube is an institution on the web. We’re already used to sitting through advertisements to get to the content we want—a music service like the one that’s described here would only give users more choices in the content they’re seeking along with the ads we’re already used to.
For its part, YouTube offered up this statement when asked about the possibilities of a subscription-based music service:
“We’re always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans. However, we have nothing to announce at this time.”
So all of this raises the question: how much would you pay for a subscription music service? And is it something that you actually want or need?
It’s funny how much things have changed in only a few short years. It wasn’t too long ago that Spotify was fighting to launch in the United States. Now it seems that every company is launching a service just like Spotify—if YouTube does indeed launch this service, that’ll be the second such program coming from Google. Does anyone actually just buy the music they like anymore? You know—right from the band?
These days I only hit up Spotify when I’ve got a really specific hankering for a song or two—Hall & Oates has been my jam over the last week or so. But when I think of paying money for a subscription, I just can’t do it. Do you subscribe to any music services? Which ones, and why?