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YouTube ‘Optimistic’ Its Music Streaming Service Will Launch ‘Soon’

The long, long wait for YouTube's much-discussed music service. CEO Susan Wojcicki told a tech panel on Monday that they're still "working" on the Google unit's answer to Spotify, and she declined to…

The long wait continues for YouTube’s much-discussed music streaming service. CEO Susan Wojcicki told a tech panel on Monday that they’re still “working” on the Google unit’s answer to Spotify, and she declined to say whether the service would launch by year’s end, as previously expected.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity,” Wojcicki said at Re/code‘s Code/Mobile conference, according to CNet. “It’s amazing how much music we have… I remain optimistic that you can see it soon.”



YouTube had originally planned to launch its on-demand music streaming service late last year, but pushed it back because they wanted to “get it right,” an exec told Billboard at the time. Via contracts signed by Google, YouTube has all the necessary licenses with major labels in order to operate a paid service.

Wojcicki also revealed that YouTube is considering offering a paid subscription service on its video platform that would give users the option of skipping ads. Hulu offers a paid subscription, but incorporates what it calls a “modest ad load” while watching in order to keep the price below $8 dollars. Music services like Spotify and Pandora offer completely ad-free subscriptions.

“YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users; but there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads,” Wojcicki said. “We’re thinking about how to give users options.” 

The Re/code conference was also paid a visit by beauty vlogger-turned music mogul Michelle Phan, who launched a record label this year after being sued by Ultra Records for using unlicensed music in her highly profitable YouTube videos. Her take? “If it’s music, music should be free,” she said. “Music should be free for everyone to hear… I believe in Team Internet.”