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YouTube’s music streaming service is weeks away from launch

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Talk of YouTube launching its own subscription-based music streaming service has been going on for quite some time now, but according to a report from The Financial Times, it might actually be happening this time thanks to a deal that the Google-owned company struck with thousands of independent record labels represented by the rights agency Merlin.

The deal was finally struck between YouTube and the group of independent record labels after months of difficult negotiations. While initially driving a hard bargain, YouTube reportedly relented and decided to shift to a position that was “substantially more favorable for Merlin” in order to secure a deal.

According to Digital Trends, it was suggested over the summer that YouTube’s subscription-based music streaming service, which would allow users to listen to music and watch videos without having to sit through advertisements, would be called YouTube Music Key and cost $10 per month. Some sources claimed that the service would also support offline playback.

This was all talk and speculation, however, until now. With Merlin on board, or more importantly, the thousands of independent record labels that it represents, YouTube is finally in a position to launch its service with a decent selection of ad-free content, something that’s essential in order to compete with similar services.

YouTube is also expected to offer extra content with its service such as concert footage, covers and remixes, together with complete albums and artist discographies. With the music streaming space currently dominated by the likes of Spotify, Rdio, and several others, YouTube will have to work hard to compete.

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