YouTube’s long-rumored music subscription service could easily be put into the same category as products like the Apple television set or the Microsoft Surface Mini if not for confirmation of its existence from CEO Susan Wojcicki.
During a recent interview, the executive said they are indeed working on it but fell short of announcing if it would be ready to go by the end of the year.
Wojcicki also discussed another type of subscription service – one that would do away with ads while watching YouTube videos. She noted that the ad-supported model has been great up to this point as it has enabled them to scale to a billion users but there are going to be cases where people simply don’t want to see ads.
The executive likened the idea to apps in which users see ads or can pay a fee to get rid of them. She said they are definitely thinking about how to give users options but again failed to reveal details such as pricing or when a video subscription model might launch.
Rumors of a YouTube music subscription service date back to 2013. Everything seemed to be coming along swimmingly for the service, dubbed Music Key, until this past June when reports surfaced that YouTube was planning to block indie labels that didn’t wish to participate.
The turmoil came to a head a month later when Chris LaRose, YouTube’s product manager in charge of music, parted ways with the company to join an undisclosed startup. Sources at the time said the indie dispute in addition to disagreements regarding how the service should be designed, what features it should charge for and how it fits into YouTube as a whole led to his departure.