YouTube is about to start music streaming on mobile.
Google has begun plans to turn YouTube into a music streaming service on mobile to compete with Spotify and Pandora. If you know a teenager, you probably know how important YouTube already is to the music business. YouTube was how Rebecca Black and Justin Bieber got their start, and the latter of the two is now a major celebrity, sharing the news spotlight with Lindsay Lohan.
Three major record labels (Warner, Sony, and Universal) are in talks with YouTube to bring their music to the plate. The negotiations are only part of the bigger picture concerning Google unleashing two services, Android’s Google Play and YouTube, as major music streaming options.
Much like Pandora, YouTube music streaming for mobile would offer free and subscription-based plans, though what the product would ultimately look like is still unknown. Free users would only get limited access to the available music, and the record labels are deciding what will be included in free use. If YouTube can get free access available to mobile users, it could open up sales similar to what Apple is already experiencing with iTunes.
The advantage of free music streaming on mobile is that if you hear a song you really like, you’ll be more apt to look into it and buy it for download, or in lesser cases, on CD. That is mostly what Pandora was missing. Pandora gives us the option to listen without ads if we upgrade to their paid subscription, but it doesn’t offer the ability to purchase the song and download it for offline enjoyment.
Google has the advantage over Pandora, however, seeing as it doesn’t depend on music sales or unlimited streaming to stay profitable. Between Android and YouTube ads, Google is rather well off and can afford to say no to independent labels who try to push Google’s generosity. Add this to the fact that teenagers tend to prefer YouTube anyway, and Google could be making out like a bandit with mobile music streaming.
What are your thoughts on YouTube entering the mobile music streaming fray?