Move over, Apple Music. Take note, Spotify. (Fall back, Yeezy Sound?) YouTube is launching its own music subscription service, and it’s coming as soon as March of 2018. Apparently the idea is nothing new—YouTube parent company Alphabet Inc. has tried to launch a paid music service two times before, but that doesn’t mean they’re not being taken seriously.
Warner Music Group has already signed on to the project according to an anonymous Bloomberg source. Word is that YouTube is also talking to Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, rounding out the trifecta of the world’s three major record labels, as well as a host of independent ones. And really, there’s no reason for labels not to be on board: labels and artists alike have pointed the finger at YouTube for impeding their success simply because so many people use the platform to listen to music for free. Music-centric YouTube clips attract over 1 billion users every month.
In the past, YouTube has had trouble convincing its users to pony up for a paid music service. In 2014, they launched YouTube Music Key, which offered users ad-free music videos. By 2016, it had evolved into the genre-agnostic YouTube Red, which users could use to watch any kind of video without advertisements.
YouTube has already reached out to artists to help them promote the new service, which is internally being referred to as Remix. Not only would Remix offer on-demand streaming, but it would also feature elements from YouTube, like video clips.