YouTube, already the most widely used on-demand music service on the planet, is now preparing to go a step further in dominating the way we access our favorite jams and the videos that go with them. YouTube plans to introduce its new paid subscription service before the end of 2103. The service is designed for use on mobile devices, and will give users access to commercial-free music and videos with the option of creating playlists and storing the content on smartphones or tablets.
With more than 1 billion users worldwide,
YouTube has long ago replaced radio as the main way the younger generation listens to music. Being able to have access to music anywhere, along with corresponding video content, is one of the big attractions associated with mobile devices and YouTube intends to get its share of the mobile music video subscription market. If the service is anywhere near as successful as the original YouTube video sharing service, then the company stands to reap untold millions from its introduction.
The service will allow users access to an unlimited amount of videos while online,
but the ability to store and view videos when offline may prove to be its most attractive feature. ‘Caching’ is what makes the subscription service qualitatively different from the current YouTube system, which allows users to create playlists and store favorites, but which are only accessible when there is an internet connection available. The music industry is increasingly turning to subscription services such as Rhapsody and Spotify to create revenue and YouTube’s new service will certainly be a challenge to these existing models.
Digital music accounts for more than half of the income for the music industry in the United States, for example, and subscription music services are a rapidly growing segment of the digital music industry.
The success of music videos such as “Gangnam Style”, which has accumulated views of well over one billion, is a testament to the popularity of YouTube and its importance in reaching worldwide audiences through video sharing. As mobile devices continue to become more popular across the globe, especially among young people, perhaps it’s no surprise that YouTube is throwing its hat into the digital music subscription ring. Music subscription services may well end up being the wave of the future when it comes to the way we access our music, and if YouTube has its way, it will be the leader of the pack.