YouTube to launch two services this year, one for music and the other for premium videos
YouTube is reportedly planning to launch two services this year.
One of the 2, is MusicKey, a service which has existed in beta form since last year.
The other one is said to be a premium offering, from content creators. This is the one which we wrote about way back in April this year. Before you panic, allow me to clarify that YouTube will be continuing to support free videos.
Google’s video sharing service, is ad-driven, and as such it would be extremely unlikely for YouTube to kill free videos, powered by ads. So, what we are looking at is a three tier form of YouTube.
Music Key, in its current form offers offline access, ad-free streaming, both of which should be even more popular when the service goes public for all users. The other service is touted to offer similar features like ad-free videos and saving videos offline. The Verge reports that the premium service, which is unnamed, will be hidden behind a paywall. Fans who wish to watch the videos, will have to buy a subscription to access the content. This will increase the amount of money that content creators make.
What is confusing is the fact there are two premium services, one for videos, as mentioned above, while the other, Music Key, is exclusively for well, obviously Music. Google already has a prrmiom music service (in some countries), called Google Play Music, and which has been much criticized by Music Labels, for not promoting the service effectively.
Reports suggest that the labels are worried similarly, about Music Key as well. Then there is the issue with labels claiming that Google has not been paying them well enough, for their music videos which have been on YouTube for several years. However, the labels are all in for a premium model on YouTube, as they profit from it well.
The evolution of smartphones and other portable devices, has driven users to accessing digital content anywhere they want, so offline music/videos from YouTube will be a sure fire hit, even if they are locked away behind a paywall. The majority of YouTube’s traffic is from music videos, and a nominal fee for watching/hearing their favorite songs, that too without ads, will not prove to be a hindrance for hardcore music fans. I’m guessing this will be further made attractive, by the fact that users will be able to access these premium services on all devices they own.
And this will also help Google to nudge aside rival video sharing services, (hint: Facebook). Whether the new service will be as popular as the likes of Hulu or NetFlix is a completely different story.