YouTube’s supposed music subscription service is still being worked on—that’s the word from sources speaking with Billboard. However, delays have hit the upcoming service because executives haven’t decided on a final design. Not only that, but YouTube wants to ensure the service is competitive from the outset rather than slowly being beefed up with compelling features throughout the year.
Google already offers Google Play Music All Access, so the needed licenses are already in place. But disagreements over the service’s design have lead to its delay, from early this year “to the second quarter or beyond.” Google’s hope is to use YouTube’s popularity to entice visitors to sign up for a streaming service; the platform is already the number one ad-supported music streaming service around, though it’s not exactly billed as such. The problem is convincing users to actually pay for a non-ad supported version focused entirely on music.
As recently as November, code popped up suggesting the service would be launching soon. However, it seems a final business model and design hasn’t been decided upon, and coming up with compelling features is still a hurdle YouTube needs to tackle. In the meantime, there’s certainly no shortage of music streaming services, paid or free—we’re even hearing Amazon might get into the mix soon. Perhaps we’ll see something more final when Google holds its I/O conference later this summer.