The company is going head-to-head with some stiff competition.
During a keynote speech at this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, YouTube's Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen used his platform to address a bevy of issues pertinent to the modern day music industry. Most notoriously, Cohen brought up the sexual abuse and misconduct allegations that have painted his longtime friend Russell Simmons in a particularly unfavourable light.
Cohen focused a bulk of his speech on the constantly-shifting landscape of today's music industry, which is being transformed by streaming services as consumers largely avoid physical and digital purchases (save for vinyl.) The mogul used his public platform to briefly augment his company's plans to infiltrate the streaming craze that is sweeping the globe.
Cohen details that the service will fuse "the best of Google Play Music’s context server” with YouTube’s “breadth and depth of catalogue.” He also recognizes YouTube's delayed foray into more contemporary methods of music consumption, admitting "we know we’re late to the party. It’s okay. I’m focused on bringing diversity to distribution; and we’ll do that by adding a subscription business on top of YouTube’s already growing advertising business."
He also reveals how "the industry is going to return and grow by ads and subscriptions. There are plenty of leaned-in listeners that are willing to pay. We are going to convert them to paid subscribers…We’re making an enormous investment to launch a product that you will be proud of."
YouTube will reportedly work very closely with its label partners in order to better understand their priorities for promoting and bringing new artists to the forefront.