YouTube Announces Paid Subscription Service, But The Future Of Its Music Content Is Uncertain

youtubeWell this could be either good news or bad news for those of us who like to search for music on YouTube.

The digital media giant announced this week it will begin offering in October a $10/month subscription service called YouTube Red that will deliver exclusive programming, as well as the ability to watch all YouTube videos without advertising, and to download them to your mobile devices for offline viewing.

Even more intriguing, the subscription service will also include YouTube Music, which is “designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever. Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you.”

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A YouTube executive told reporters that “99.9% of the content on You Tube will be free, as it always has been” and that “there is nothing we are taking away from there, merely adding onto it.”

That sounds pretty good to me. I always prefer searching for music on YouTube, rather than on streaming services like Spotify, for a couple of reasons. First of all, videos and user comments can sometimes add something really interesting to the listening experience.

But more importantly, YouTube has a much bigger selection of music than Spotify. Sound quality can be hit or miss on YouTube, but you are much more likely to find rare or hard-to-find tracks there than on Spotify.

So what could be the problem with all YouTube’s current music content being supplemented by a premium service? The problem is in the fine print.

TechCrunch has confirmed that YouTube will indeed take some videos off its free service. YouTube is insisting that its video creators and media partners agree to license their videos for YouTube Red, and that those who refuse to do so may see their videos hidden or removed from the free tier.

Supposedly this is only going to affect the big creators and not the individual people who upload clips on their own. And its precisely those individuals who upload the rare and hard-to-find stuff. But still, the insistence on a revenue-sharing contract may place a new reason to restrict any copyrighted material that individuals upload on their own.

We’re going to have to see how this all plays out, but right now I’m a little nervous about it.






3 comments to “YouTube Announces Paid Subscription Service, But The Future Of Its Music Content Is Uncertain”
  1. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of exclusive content they create/license… It’s working for Amazon and Netflix! Can’t believe it took YouTube so long to get in the game.

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