YouTube to Release Music Subscription Service

Spotify, Rdio face a new competitor planning both free and premium tiers

Already a prominent digital music option for the younger generation, YouTube is reportedly looking to expand its reach with a music subscription service to launch as soon as December, according to published reports.

The service would release in competition with offerings such as Spotify and Rdio, though having video to amp up to the deal. YouTube will reportedly offer both free and premium tiers, the premium featuring incentives such as commercial-free listening — also an option offered by Spotify and Pandora — and offline listening, integrating both computer browsers and mobile.

YouTube, however, has made no official announcements.

“We’re always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans,” said a spokesman. “However, we have nothing to announce at this time.”

The free service will likely offer unlimited, on-demand tracks. YouTube has already found a way to monetize off music through ads, as some of the most-viewed videos and most-subscribed channels on the Internet giant are music-related, and a partnership with Vevo has only boosted the thriving music repertoire.

According to sources close to the matter, it would also integrate a service offered by YouTube’s parent company, Google, Inc.: Google Play Music All Access. The service provides users with an expansive library of music, the ability to listen to personalized radio stations and suggestions based on their preferences.

YouTube is also expanding its music category with the much-publicized YouTube Music Awards, to be held Nov. 3. High-profile performances slated to be included in the awards show include Eminem, Lady Gaga and M.I.A.

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