YouTube is owned by Google, which is also set to make a play in the lucrative music-streaming market, but reportedly has a negotiating team separate from that of its parent company.Last month it was reported that Google was in talks with record labels in a bid to develop its own streaming service.
The current service, Google Play for Android, allows users to buy music, store it online and then access it from all of their devices.
The new service, also due out later this year, will reportedly offer access to millions of songs for a monthly subscription, much like Spotify, the dominant player in the market.
There will be some overlap between the YouTube and Google Play services, but the differences are likely to reflect the different place they occupy in the market.
The YouTube service will allow users to listen to tracks for free, but the subscription will unlock additional features – most likely to mean advertisement-free access to songs, according to the Fortune report.
YouTube is already one of the most-used services in the world for music, but does not charge users. Instead it sells advertising against its music videos, a share of which goes back to record companies.
YouTube released a statement saying: “While we don’t comment on rumour or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we’re looking at that.”
Separately, Apple has held talks with Beats Electronics, the audio tech firm co-founded by the hip-hop producer Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine about a potential partnership involving Beats’ planned music streaming service.
Apple CEO Tim Cook met Mr Iovine last month to find out more about Beats’ “Project Daisy”, according to Reuters.
There have rumours for years that Apple is planning its own music streaming service to complement iTunes.
In 2009 the iPhone maker bought cloud music storage service LaLa and it was widely thought that this would be a step towards a streaming service.
Instead, Apple used it as a building block in the creation of iTunes Match, the music storage component of iCloud. Despite repeated speculation over the last couple of years, an Apple streaming service has yet to materialise.
While its rivals ponder a streaming service, Spotify continues to report growing numbers of users. At the end of last year, the company announced that it had 24 million active users, a fifth of whom paid to use the service.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.