We’ve been hearing talk about YouTube prepping a subscription music service for a while now, and a teardown of its recently updated Android app suggests its launch may not be far away.
The app’s code, revealed by Android Police, includes references to ‘Music Pass’, more than likely the name of YouTube’s expected subscription service.
The code also makes mention of “offline playback”, “background listening”, and “uninterrupted music”. The apparent features being lined up for subscribers also include “no ads on millions of songs”.
With YouTube already the go-to site for many music fans, the streaming service will be hoping the offer of an ad-free experience and functionality that allows you to build playlists, enjoy tracks offline, and listen while using other apps on your mobile device will be enough to tempt users into handing over a bunch of banknotes each month.
A Billboard report in October suggested YouTube’s service will work in a similar fashion to Spotify – an already firmly established player in the subscription music service space – with both a free as well as a premium tier offered to subscribers, though with Spotify the former is only available to desktop and laptop users. The option to listen to tracks without the need for an Internet connection is another Spotify feature expected to come with YouTube’s service.
The ability to stream full albums could also be a part of YouTube’s music subscription service, which is expected to launch before the end of this year. As for pricing, the Billboard report suggests the company is looking at $10 a month for the premium service.
Of course, Google, which owns YouTube, already offers a music subscription service – All Access – though it’s struggled to gain traction in the market. YouTube, with a massive user base already in place, and with the added attraction of videos to run alongside music tracks, may have an easier time attracting paying punters and thereby giving competing services such as Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes Radio a run for their money.