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YouTube's subscription music service said to launch this year

Google is reportedly in the final stages of prepping a new streaming on-demand music service that will have both free and premium versions for desktop and mobile.


Word had it that Google was planning to launch a subscription music service for YouTube this past summer, but the summer came and went and no such service surfaced. Now, rumors are flying that the service could be launching before year's end.

The possible music service will sound a lot like Spotify but will also come with videos, according to Billboard. And, like Pandora, it's said to have both a free version and a paid premium version that will give users unlimited access to albums and artists. Those with the unlimited access are also said to get ad-free music, as well as offline storage.

Billboard reports the service is expected to cost consumers about $10 per month and be compatible with many of Google's other products and services, such as Google Glass.

Google has reportedly closed all the deals necessary to get the service going, according to Billboard. In March, the company was said to have made a deal with Warner Music Group that gives Google rights for two services it's said to be working on -- one that's part of Google's Android music platform, Google Play, and the other for YouTube.

This is just one step for Google, as it tries to go to battle with streaming services like Spotify and turn YouTube into a more powerful and lucrative music service. YouTube, which has 1 billion unique monthly users, is already the largest music service in existence, and for now it only makes money via ads. Throw in a subscription mobile offering and it could be a game changer for music streaming.

While Google hasn't yet announced its plans, a company spokesperson did tell CNET that "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."