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2018: YouTube to Launch Music Subscription Service in March.

Apple’s streaming music service will soon face another major competitor, as YouTube prepares to launch a paid music service in March of 2018.

YouTube has already inked a deal with Warner Music Group and is in talks with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a group of independent labels. The service will allow YouTube to better compete with Spotify and Apple Music, and it will provide more revenue to music labels that have been pushing for more money from the video site.

The new service could help appease record-industry executives who have pushed for more revenue from YouTube. Warner Music Group, one of the world’s three major record labels, has already signed on, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private talks. YouTube is also in talks with the two others, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a consortium of independent labels, the people said.

The Verge
Google has tried to create music-centric products to win over fans and appease the record industry, but it’s failed to capture the same number of users as Apple or Spotify. Instead, YouTube has released a number of products, including Google Play Music, YouTube Music Key, and then, after Music Key’s slow growth, the video-focused YouTube Red. Meanwhile, Spotify has soared to 140 million monthly users, with 50 million of them paid, while Apple Music has over 30 million subscribers. Google has never released user numbers for its music streaming service, and YouTube Red, which had just 1.5 million subscribers a year ago, has irked music industry executives for its heavy focus on original video content, Bloomberg reports. With all that hanging over YouTube’s new service, it’s unclear the company is capable of hitting its March launch target.

At this point, it’s unclear what the new music service will mean for YouTube Red, the company’s other paid offering. YouTube Red was initially launched with a heavy focus on originals, but YouTube been shifting its marketing to put a bigger emphasis on ad-free YouTube viewing and music streaming in recent months.


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