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YouTube's paid music service delayed over design problems

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A planned subscription service from YouTube is facing delays related to Google executives' insistence that the product be competitive from the day it launches, according to a new report. Billboard, citing an interview with an unnamed executive briefed on YouTube's plans, say that a service originally scheduled to launch earlier this year has been bumped "to the second quarter or beyond."

Google, which offers a separate subscription called Google Play Music All Access, already has the licenses in place to offer a $5 or $10 monthly service to compete with Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio. But Billboard's sources say executives are insisting that YouTube's offering be compelling immediately, rather than steadily iterating a beta version in the manner of so many Google products before it. The product is reportedly taking longer than expected as the company works to create an intuitive, elegant design.

YouTube, which offers millions of tracks already on an ad-supported basis, is the No. 1 music streaming service in the world. The company is still working through which premium features would persuade its audience to pay a monthly fee, according to Billboard. Those curious what the finished product will look like will have to wait a while longer.