Video killed the radio star, and YouTube killed the video star. (Wait, you guys don’t still watch MTV, do you?)
All of us have watched a music video on YouTube before. Some of us even use YouTube as our primary music service. It’s free, after all, and has pretty much every song you’d ever want to hear.
Google knows that, and it seems like cashing in on YouTube’s music-streaming value with ad-revenue isn’t enough anymore. Google has been long-rumored to have been working on a paid music service for YouTube, but the information has come few and far between.
But yesterday, a report from Reuters confirmed the rumors, and gave us some more information.
YouTube has partnered with hundreds of major and independent labels, and has plans to block the content of some labels on YouTube, ” unless they sign deals to participate in the new, subscription streaming music service.”
And the labels aren’t taking it.
Last month, Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network said in a press release that the deals YouTube has approached the labels with are on “highly unfavorable, and non-negotiable terms.”
YouTube has promised that the plan will provide new revenue for the music industry, but is this really something the music industry wants? YouTube has provided a place for labels to basically give out their artists’ music, and for people to freely listen and share that music with their friends and family.
We can expect to see tons of more information start coming out regarding this service in the next few months as a release is currently slated for the end of the summer. The key features include ad-free listening, the ability to listen offline and the ability to listen to full albums. The package would compete with Spotify, Pandora and Beats Music (now owned by Apple).
And for those of you dying to know, it looks like YouTube’s service will work in conjunction with Play All Access, Google’s current music streaming service. That means that you may not have to subscribe to two Google-supported streaming services.
With free music accessibility to YouTube and paid Spotify subscriptions, users were getting along just fine. But take away that free YouTube accessibility? Consumers may very well dump Spotify to get a similar streaming product in Play All Access and keep their old YouTube functionality.
So could this mark the end of getting trolled by Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up?” troll-anthem? Imagine clicking on a link and not even getting to the video! Instead, you might be greeted by a “To Watch Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, Please Log Into YouTube Music.”
Where’s the surprise in that? No fun, YouTube. No fun.