YouTube: “We’ll Never Stop Focusing on Free Content”

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Major labels want an end to free, ad-supported content, and are pressuring music services to fall in line.  Only one problem: the biggest music streaming service in the world doesn’t really care.  

from an interview with Music Ally and YouTube top executive Robert Kyncl…

Music Ally: What’s going on with the delay of subscription-based YouTube Music Key?

Robert Kyncl: “We’re still going through some development.  The launch [of subscription Music Key] is coming in a few months from here: there’s a little bit of a delay, but nothing too serious.  We got a lot of really great feedback, and thought it was better to address most of it than to launch without [addressing] it.  We’re a lot smarter about the product from those heaviest users.”

Music Ally: How will the launch of Music Key impact your free, ad-supported tier?

Kyncl: “Our free ad-supported business is growing incredibly fast.

“We’ll always have ad-supported: that’s our core, and we’ll never stop focusing on it.  It’s in Google’s DNA to be in the ad-supported business.

Subscription is just an add-on. It’s an adjacent business that we’re building.”


Image by Evan Courtney for the First Assembly of God, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

9 Responses

  1. Jeff Robinson

    With their ad-supported service paying close to 11 cents a stream (if the entire commercial before the song is viewed), why would they need to do it differently?

    Video is king. So much more billable ad-space for video rather than just audio commercials like those that run on Spotify.

    • Who is getting paid 11 cents? More like .00000011 cents...

      Seriously Jeff, where are you getting your numbers… no one is getting 11 cents per stream, if they were we wouldn’t be having this conversation…

      • Jeff Robinson

        Every accounting we’re getting through our distributors is showing numbers this high. When sent to Youtube via a legitimate source, the numbers are insane. There are tiers of payment coming through Youtube. The highest rate- paid at 11 cents is for video commercials viewed in their entirety before the content.

        • DavidB

          So the average pay per play is about a tenth of a cent, right?

  2. Anonymous

    “We’re still going through some development”

    In other words, it’s the next Glass.

  3. Bandit

    Why would they be in a hurry to offer something that will likely fail?

    YouTube as it is now is the go to source for free instantaneous music satisfaction.

      • Versus

        Agreed. It’s a disgrace. YouTube hides behind the letter of the DMCA law of “safe harbor” to violate the spirit of the law, which is to prevent piracy.

        Even with “legal” monetized uploads (that is, ones that an artist or rights-holder allows to remain on YouTube in exchange for monetization), the pay-outs are extremely inconsistent, as your article reveals, and there is no transparency.

        It’s time for a fixed, transparent, pay scale per plays for all streaming services, including YouTube. If the streaming companies can’t make ends meet, then they should re-evaluate their business model…and lobby for stronger enforcement against piracy.