YouTube to launch Spotify rival streaming music service in 2018

The service could be called Remix

The service could be called Remix

According to Bloomberg, Warner Music Group has already inked a licensing deal for the platform.

Alphabet's YouTube plans to introduce a paid music streaming service in March, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Talks with Sony and Universal, as well as Merlin-which represents hundreds of independent record labels-are apparently underway. Nonetheless, with Spotify having 60 million paying users and Apple about 27 million subscribers YouTube will have a mountain to climb to catch up.

Alphabet no doubt wants a part of the growing music streaming market. This would be the Google-owned company's third attempt to successfully compete with industry-leaders Spotify and Apple.

What do you think of the idea of a YouTube music streaming service? YouTube Red was initially launched with a heavy focus on originals, but YouTube been shifting its marketing to put a bigger emphasis on ad-free YouTube viewing and music streaming in recent months. That morphed into YouTube Red in 2016, letting users watch any video without advertising. It also comes after a raft of sustained criticism from the industry that YouTube does not compensate artists enough for content hosted on the platform.

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YouTube must overcome several hurdles to meet a March target.

Making things a little spicier is the fact that music channel Vevo's contract with YouTube reportedly requires re-negotiation early next year.

YouTube was not available for comment outside regular business hours.

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