The answer for many would most likely be no. Why pay for something that has been offered for free for song long, for videos that you may be able to find elsewhere for no cost at all? YouTube’s lifeblood is the constant (free) stream of unfiltered and unfettered user uploads and company creations. But Google isn’t that dull. And that’s why they are thinking about adding a subscription-based service for one of YouTube’s most popular offerings. Music videos.
For anyone that has watched MTV, VH1, or BET, the hey-day of music videos debuting and gaining traction on television is completely dead. Hits are born from YouTube, right alongside the always-reliable radio. The reason why a Korean rapper named Psy was able to skyrocket up the Billboard’s Charts wasn’t because of TV or radio, it was YouTube.
1,387,857,360 views. You can’t get that kind of video exposure anywhere else, and Google knows that. While there are plenty of streaming music services like Spotify, Grooveshark, and Pandora, YouTube remains the number one spot to watch the actual music video. VEVO, one of YouTube most popular channels provides official music videos from some of the world’s biggest artists from major labels like Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. This partnership has been a huge success, and has proven to be quite lucrative for musicians and labels that constantly battle more revenue in our heavily digitized consumption.
Many videos run ads short ads, before the video can be viewed and YouTube and the label spit the revenue. But, the industry believes that a YouTube subscription model could be even more lucrative.
While subscription based music services are still only a small part of the industry pie, Google would do well to look into such an investment. Keeping the subscription model only for the music videos, Google may be able to establish a reliable and viable source of extra revenue, because there really isn’t anywhere else to turn. How much would the service cost? It’s yet to be rumored; but I assume they would need to stay under the price point of Spotify or Pandora.
Google may have something brewing here, and for music fans like me, I might — just might be willing to pay for its service.