YouTube is already one of the best places to find music online, but the Google-owned company is still struggling to turn its massive catalogue into a straight-forward streaming service. Recent reports suggest the video-sharing giant is on the verge of launching its own Spotify-killer, but the company may have hit a major speed bump today after losing a key employee.
Chris LaRosa was reportedly leading YouTube’s efforts to launch a music subscription service as the company’s product manager for music, but according to The Wall Street Journal he recently left to work for an unnamed startup. YouTube confirmed the news to WSJ without saying where LaRosa is headed next. Meanwhile, an anonymous former colleague called his departure a “huge loss.”
YouTube’s subscription service is expected to offer several key features the site currently lacks, particularly on mobile. You’ll be able to listen to music on your phone even after leaving the app, store music offline temporarily, and there won’t be any ads. WSJ also reports that the service could be bundled into Google Play Music All Access for existing customers.
Google is expected to launch the new service within the next few months, and the company recently made headlines after threatening to cut off revenue for independent music labels that didn’t agree to YouTube’s new terms. It’s unclear if LaRosa’s departure means any more delays for the music streaming service, though for now it sounds like the company is still looking for someone to take over his position.