Latest YouTube Android app 5.3 hints at paid music subscription service

28 Nov 2013

Google may be about to introduce a new music-streaming service within YouTube after it was discovered that the latest YouTube app for Android devices refers to a new ‘Music Pass’ service.

There has been speculation for some time that Google has been bridling to enter the market dominated by Spotify, Pandora and Deezer in a more defined way. Google sells music as downloads via Google Play.

The development suggests Google has been negotiating with the music industry separate to Google Play to create a service for paid subscribers. It also chimes in neatly with Google’s ‘mobile first’ maxim and for YouTube – the second largest search engine on the planet after Google – and a premium subscription service without the annoying ads makes sense.

According to Android Police, the new YouTube app 5.3 refers to a new service called ‘Music Pass’ and a file called music_upsell_dialogue.xml contains text that promises offline playback and the ability to ‘Take your music everywhere’.

The files also contain text referring to the ability to ‘keep your music playing while listening to other apps’ and uninterrupted music ‘with no ads on millions of songs’.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years