YouTube to launch subscription music service, cementing its dominance in video over Facebook

Susan Wojcicki, youtube, sv100 2015Kimberly White/GettyYoutube CEO Susan Wojcicki speak onstage during ‘Who Owns Your Screen?’ at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 9, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

YouTube will launch a subscription-based, ad-free music service by the end of this year, CEO Susan Wojcicki confirmed earlier this week during an interview at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference. The service, which has been in beta testing since last November, may allow YouTube to cement its video dominance and stave off competition from other digital media platforms, namely Facebook, which has reportedly been pursuing partnerships with music labels.

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YouTube’s new subscription music streaming service illustrates the video giant’s strong competitive positioning in the digital video industry.

  • YouTube is already a popular destination for music listeners. The video site is the world’s leading music streaming service. In the first half of 2015, the site accounted for 57% of the world’s 135.2 billion music streams, including music videos, according to Nielsen data cited by Music Business WorldWide. Additionally, competitors like Facebook are only now establishing relationships with music video publishers. YouTube, one the other hand, has longstanding relationships with record labels and an extensive library of music videos.
  • Plus, YouTube’s users come to the site to watch videos. Unlike other social platforms that are looking to segue into the video streaming industry, YouTube’s estimated 1 billion users are loyal video viewers and access the site exclusively for its video content. YouTube and other Google-owned properties accounted for nearly double as many unique US online video views on desktop computers as Facebook in May 2015, according to comScore. Facebook, however, has claimed that their global views including mobile are on par with YouTube’s.

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