YouTube is reportedly to launch a streaming music subscription service “akin to a Spotify but with video” by the end of the year.
It would have free unlimited music streaming as well as a $10-a-month premium option offering offline, ad-free listening, according to Billboard, similar to Google’s All Access streaming music service.
YouTube’s service would focus heavily on mobile listening.It could be incorporated into Google Glass in the future, Billboard said.
It is likely to feature complete albums, a big upgrade from YouTube’s current offerings of singles.
Billboard said music licensing — often a sticking point in streaming deals — shouldn’t be a problem, as parent company Google already has deals in place for All Access.
Streaming and subscription music services are booming, with a billion dollars in revenues last year, as the music industry tries to find was of making up for decreasing sales of music downloads.
Google launched its All Access streaming radio service in May, and reportedly will release a version for Apple’s iOS later this month. It also recently upgraded its search interface to highlight songs and YouTube music videos.
Apple, meanwhile, launched its own streaming music venture, iTunes Radio, last month.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the service has already 20 million listeners who played 1 billion songs, according to a separate report by Billboard.This is still well behind the 15.8 hours a month per listener from Oakland-based Pandora, with 200 million subscribers.