YouTube‘s streaming music service has been delayed for so long that it’s easy to be skeptical about whether it will ever see the light of day. However, at the Code/Mobile conference, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki reasserted that the subscription-based platform is still in the works. She noted that it will arrive “soon,” and that YouTube is “working on it.”
These are obviously vague assertions, but it is promising to hear them from Wojcicki, especially after a recent Reuters report claimed the music service will arrive “in coming weeks.” The world’s largest video sharing site also plans to shut down its YouTube Disco feature, lending further credence to the idea that a new music service is imminent.
At the same time, this claim–that the music service is almost here–is the same one we’ve heard for the past year. The service was first rumored to be “close” to arriving in October 2013, but it was delayed. By April, it had been delayed again, and since then, it has been the subject of several controversies. In June, a handful of indie labels sparked a firestorm when they accused YouTube of strong-arming them into unfair revenue-sharing deals. One month later, Chris LaRosa, who was in charge of the service’s development, left Google. The Wall Street Journal cited internal struggles as one reason for his departure.
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Because of all these problems–the delays, the controversies, the claims of infighting–it’s important to take Wojcicki’s words with a grain of salt. At the same time, she seems confident about the music service’s launch. “I remain optimistic that you can see it soon,” she said. We’re looking forward to more definite news in (fingers crossed) the near future.