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It looks like Apple's music streaming services will get a major competitor early next year. According to a Bloomberg report citing sources familiar with the development, YouTube is prepping to launch a paid music service in March next year.
YouTube has inked a deal with Warner Music Group and is in discussion with Sony Music Entertainment, Merlin, and Universal Music Group, a group of independent labels. This service will let YouTube compete with Apple Music and Spotify. Also, the music labels those have been pushing for money from the video streaming site with Youtube's music service.
The report adds that Music is one of the most popular and sought-after genres of video on YouTube and it attracts over a billion users in a month. Eventually, it makes sense for YouTube to launch a music subscription service to cater to the needs of the users.
YouTube is referring to this music streaming service internally as Remix and is said to include the on-demand streaming as in Spotify along with the YouTube-only elements such as video clips. YouTube has been contacting artists for help by promoting the service. The video streaming site has been involved in negotiations with Sony and Universal for over a year regarding the same, the report adds.
As per the report, YouTube will have to overcome various hurdles in order to meet the March 2018 launch date of the music subscription service. For instance, major record labels state that the growth would be more significant if it is not for YouTube as they criticize the same for not compensating them appropriately given the number of people who use the site to listen to music.
Google, another service from Alphabet introduced Google Play Music as a streaming service in 2011. Also, YouTube launched the ad-free, subscription-based YouTube Red in 2016 with exclusive video content from popular creators.