YouTube gears up for subscription music launch

YouTube is gearing up to launch a subscription music offering, despite failing to sign licensing terms with a number of independent record labels. 

Speaking to the Financial Times, YouTube’s head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl said that it had agreed terms with labels representing 95% of the music industry, but would start to block videos from those it hadn’t reached terms with “in a matter of days.”

The new premium offering will reportedly allow users to watch music videos and listen to video content on any device on an ad-free, pay monthly basis, with offline access also supported.

Last month, music body the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) described news that YouTube planned to block the content of members who do not sign a new music streaming agreement as “unnecessary and indefensible.”

“According to WIN members, the contracts currently on offer to independent labels from YouTube are on highly unfavourable, and non-negotiable terms, and undervalue existing rates in the marketplace from existing music streaming partners such as Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and others,” the music body said at the time.