YouTube is reportedly planning a two-tier music service to rival Spotify, offering free ad-funded streaming music with the option of a premium service.
Music industry magazine Billboard reports that the service will let users choose between free and ad-supported, or a $10-a-month premium version with no ads and the ability to store songs for offline listening.
As well as competing with Spotify, the service would also be in competition with YouTube’s own parent company Google, which launched ‘Play Music All Access’ earlier this year.
YouTube's new service will be "designed with mobile listening in mind"according to Billboard.
Its report suggests that Google signed most of the necessary licensing deals with music labels and publishers while negotiating agreements for its separate Google Play Music All Access streaming service, which launched earlier in 2013.
For its part, YouTube isn't commenting publicly on the speculation. "We're always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans," explained a statement. "However, we have nothing to announce at this time."
An announcement may be imminent, though. The company is holding its first YouTube Music Awards on 3 November in New York: an MTV or Billboard-style awards ceremony with performances from Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire among other artists. It would be an ideal time to unveil a new digital music service for fans.