While browsing around YouTube, or while watching avid YT users browse YouTube, it has become obvious to many people that the basic guts of a music service already exist within the site. You can search for things, make playlists, subscribe to feeds, etc.
In fact, many people (e.g., generation [fill in the blank] for folks who are trying to classify generations by their assumed differences) already make use of YouTube as a sort of music service. So many licensed music videos are already on the site, whether as part of the VEVO partnership or otherwise. And these licenses can cover other files already on the site given the consent of the rightsholder.
And YouTube “Free” is far larger in terms of active userbase that Spotify, MOG, Rdio or Deezer “Free.” If we were to include this set of active media consumers within the market estimates of the size of the “music services” market in the US (or abroad) that market would instantly expand by significant multiples.
In other words, we are probably underestimating the size of the active music service market by either (a) overlooking the way in which people are already experiencing music online, or (b) holding back a platform that could further expand this market with only a few tweaks.
And so, will someone please just take us out of our misery and flip the switch that makes YouTube a more direct music service experience.
I know that in order to make that happen a host of licenses would have to be obtained, licenses that would require negotiations throttled by advances and other assurances.
But millions upon millions of humans are now browsing YouTube listening to music. It would seem to make some sense to offer both a Free and a Paid version of a streaming (and perhaps also portable) music service integrated with and additional to the video content.
Or maybe I am just nuts.