YouTube may launch phone-friendly 'Spotify with video'

YouTube may activate teen army to launch phone-friendly 'Spotify with video'
YouTube's new service coming in like a wrecking ball

YouTube may be on the cusp of launching a subscription music streaming service with an eye on mobile devices.

The as-yet-unnamed service supposedly comes in both free and paid-for flavours, with a paid subscription adding the ability to cache tracks for offline listening. It's not clear whether this would let you watch videos offline too, or just listen to music.

It's been described as "Spotify with video", if that helps.

The free version "is likely" to offer unlimited listening, including mobile access, but won't let you offline tracks and will come with a bunch of ads.

People in the know

Today's rumour comes from Billboard, which claims to have spoken with "several people who have been briefed on the proposed service."

The music mag adds that the track library would be "similar" to the one available on Google's All Access music service - Google is, of course, YouTube's parent company too.

Personally we would like to see Google sprinkle YouTube videos into its streaming music service, instead of separating the two, but that doesn't seem to be what's rumoured here.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube isn't commenting on the speculation but it is going big on music at the moment by pushing its first YouTube Music Awards (taking place in New York in November).

YouTube has a huge audience of younger music fans who use it to stream music and watch music videos, and a mobile-focussed streaming service would be one way to maximise the amount of time these teens spend on YouTube (and the amount of time these teens spend being exposed to ads on YouTube).

We guess the rumour also kind of jives with YouTube's recent announcement that it will be adding offline videos to its mobile app.

As for when the YouTube music app will launch, if it exists, that's anyone's guess. Billboard reckons YouTube already has the licenses it needs having negotiated them at the same time as the ones for the All Access service.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.