The music industry has been pushing Google to monetize YouTube beyond just advertising since shortly after its launch 10 years ago. After more than a year of beta trails and rumored launch dates, a subscription version of YouTube along with a new companion music service are finally nearing launch.
A letter sent to YouTube creators and multi-channel networks offers the clearest signal yet that YouTube’s long promised subscription service could launch as early as late October.
The email from YouTube to content creators and rightsholders warns that they need to sign a new agreement by Oct. 22 or their “videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States.”
YouTube’s new offering will bundle two different services – an update of its YouTube Music Key streaming service and a new ad free version of YouTube, sources tell Re/code. The bundle is rumored to be priced at $10 a month.
A combined service – unlimited streaming + ad free YouTube – may not return the revenue that labels and artists have been hoping for, but it is likely to be hailed as a step in the right direction.