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YouTube preparing its own subscription music service, could launch later this year

YouTube preparing its own subscription music service, could launch later this year

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YouTube is readying its own subscription music service that could launch in the coming months. Billboard first reported news of the service, which is described as being in the vein of Spotify but with an added video component. It will reportedly have two different tiers: a free version, and then a premium option that will offer unlimited access to a broad selection of music (not unlike Rdio or Google Play Music All Access).

The service's launch is not imminent, sources familiar with the product told The Verge, though it could launch later this year. It is expected to cost around $9.99 a month for the premium option.

According to Billboard, those subscribing to the premium service would be able to remove ads and store music offline for listening without an internet connection. The free version would allow users to listen on all platforms, however — including mobile — with YouTube's primary focus said to be on building its audience and selling ads. The music video subscription service could also be paired up with other Google products and services in the future, with Billboard naming Google Glass as one potential destination.

Most of the deals needed for the service have already been closed, according to Billboard, with the All Access arrangements Google struck with music companies earlier this year covering this potential YouTube music service as well. The launch of the service will reportedly come alongside a redesigned YouTube mobile app.

In response to the news, YouTube stated: "We're always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans. However, we have nothing to announce at this time."

Casey Newton contributed to this report.