Although not officially confirmed, YouTube is expected to launch a music streaming service with videos included, by the end of 2013. The service is expected to target mobile users and include both free and premium options. According to Billboard, the premium option would offer ad-free listening along with the ability to listen to songs offline.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Does the world really need another streaming music service?” This is a great question since parent company Google already has one of its own known as Google Play Music All Access. What are the advantages then of creating a streaming music service on YouTube?
For one, YouTube is a brand that everyone already knows and has been used as a means to discover new music for years. Bobby Owsinki points out in his article “The Real Reason Behind YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service” that YouTube already has a “built-in hard core audience” that contains the prime demographic for music consumption (14-24 years old), along with another billion users. Yes, a billion. Additionally, the music streaming service will likely be a new YouTube feature, not an entirely new service, which would make it instantly available to all active users when released.
Apple has had success using a similar idea with iTunes Radio, by making the streaming music service standard on all of their products. In just over a month, iTunes Radio has 20 million users and over a billion songs have been played. With this information, it is easy to see the potential of adding a streaming music service to YouTube, the second most downloaded app in the United States across iOS and Android users. Will “YouTube Radio” catch on as fast as iTunes Radio? Stay tuned.