YouTube's paid music streaming service just "weeks away"

If the latest reports are to be believed, it appears that Google owned subsidiary, YouTube, is just "weeks away" from rolling out a paid option for music streaming after closing a deal with Merlin, the rights agency that represents thousands of indie music labels.

This will align the video sharing network to directly compete with the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Apple's recently acquired Beats Music.

The deal means YouTube will have license to stream some 20,000 independent labels including XL Recordings, which represents popular artists like Adele and The xx, but not without cost.

According to the Financial Times, sources close to YouTube have stated that the service will begin offering a monthly paid subscription that will allegedly also allow people to download music for offline listening without adverts.

It's unclear if a similar model will remain in place for free, but without the option for offline listening and with the inclusion of adverts, something most YouTube visitors will already be familiar with.

Last month YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki would not comment on when exactly the new music subscription service would launch but, as CNET reported at the time, she did confirm that the company was "working on it". She said: "I think there's a lot of opportunity. It's amazing how much music we have... I remain optimistic that you can see it soon."

If the above is true, it could be a matter of weeks away.

Source: Financial Times (Paywall) via TechRadar

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