YouTube has been rumored to be prepping a premium on-demand music service since October 2013. Initially rumored for a late 2013 release, there is still no sign of the music streaming service. According to Billboard, which was the first to report on the yet unconfirmed service last year, the launch has been pushed back to “the second quarter or later”
The delay, per a senior label executive Billboard talked to, is on account of YouTube’s refusal to launch anything short of a great product. "They feel that there's just too much scrutiny of this product, and that they need to get it right out of the gate," the executive was quoted as saying by Bloomberg Thursday.
Chief among the challenges YouTube is grappling with are: figuring out the best possible way of dealing with songs that have no official videos and, more importantly, getting people to pay for something they’re used to getting for free. As for the visual treatment of video-less songs, the company is currently gravitating toward “art videos” — those made up of random pictures and videos. But with YouTube allegedly hoping to charge users up to $10-a-month for the premium service without it impacting the way non-paying users currently use the site, the latter is clearly a lot trickier.