By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 24, 2013 07:03 AM EDT
YouTube is reportedly gearing up to launch its own subscription music service and the big debut could be just months away.
If this proves to be true, YouTube's subscription music service would likely go head to head with Spotify, but would boast a video component as well.
"YouTube is preparing a premium on-demand music service - akin to Spotify, but with video - to launch this year, according to several sources familiar with the plans," reported Billboard, which first broke the news.
According to the publication, YouTube's upcoming service will have two different tiers: a free version, and a premium option that would offer unlimited access to a wide selection of music. So far, it sounds similar to Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music All Access.
The Verge further reports learning from its own "sources familiar with the product" that the launch of YouTube's subscription music service is not imminent, but it could happen later this year. The premium option is expected to cost roughly $9.99 per month.
According to Billboard, customers who subscribe to the premium version of YouTube's upcoming music service will be able to remove ads, as well as store music offline for later listening without an Internet connection. The free tier, meanwhile, would allow users to listen to music on all platforms, including mobile, as YouTube's main focus would be on building a massive audience and selling ads.
Billboard further goes on to speculate that YouTube's subscription music service could end up paired with other Google products and services in the future, such as Google Glass.
The publication notes that most of the deals necessary for such a service have already been closed, as the All Access agreements Google made earlier this year with music companies would apply to the upcoming YouTube subscription service as well.
"YouTube, through its parent company Google, already secured most of the licenses to launch such a music service earlier this year, beginning with Warner Music Group in March, followed by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. The licenses obtained were for both Google's All Access service, which launched in May, and for a YouTube music service," Billboard reports.
"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," YouTube told Billboard in a statement. "However, we have nothing to announce at this time."
In other words, YouTube did not confirm such plans, but it didn't deny them either. The launch of the subscription music video service will reportedly come along with a redesigned YouTube mobile app. Until YouTube makes an official announcement, however, it all remains in the rumor state.
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