Youtube is about to launch a paid streaming music service, according to the Financial Times. The rumor follows after Google went in an agreement with thousands of independent record labels. The new service should make it possible to watch music videos without advertisements. Subscribers to the service should also be able to store videos for offline usage.
The article on the Financial Times suggests that Youtube wants to change its relationship with the music industry. Currently the video platform is mainly used for promotional activities instead of being an important revenue stream for artists. Youtube music videos have more than a billion visitors a month, but only 7% would be interested in paying for a subscription without ads and with additional content, according to Midia Research. That percentage of a billion users is still substantial (70 million) and more than e.g. Spotify which has 12,5 million subscribers.
The possible introduction of the service follows after a deal Google made with so called indie labels. Several months ago the company threatened to block music of those labels, apparently after the involved parties couldn’t get in an agreement on the paid subscription.