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YouTube music chief leaving for undisclosed startup

Chris LaRosa, the product manager in charge of Google's music platform on YouTube, is the second person to leave that post in the past year.


YouTube's hope of starting a full-fledged music-subscription service to take on the likes of Pandora and Spotify has suffered another setback.

YouTube's head of music, Chris LaRosa, will leave the Google-owned video site on Friday to join an undisclosed startup, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing confirmation from YouTube. LaRosa is the second person to leave YouTube as head of music in less than a year. Last fall, his predecessor, Nikhil Chandhok, also left.

The road to a paid music-subscription service at YouTube has been bumpy and slow. The company was reportedly set to launch a service called Music Pass last year. First, reports suggested that the service would launch last summer but was pushed back to the fall. In the fall, it reportedly was pushed to 2014.

So far this year, there's been no hint of an impending launch. And given LaRosa's departure, it might be delayed even further.

YouTube has long been a destination for music lovers. Many of the site's top videos are music videos and Google has kept music video service Vevo on a tight leash to ensure people keep coming back to watch its content on the service. Launching a paid subscription service, however, is the next step for YouTube's music efforts and that has yet to come to fruition.

If and when a music service launches, Google is expected to price it at around $10 per month. The service would also offer a free version that would be ad supported. Both versions will be compatible with existing Google products, including Google Glass, reports say.

CNET has contacted YouTube for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.