Reports of a YouTube subscription music service being in the works have been circulating since late 2013, with Billboard reporting last October that a two-tier system would build on Google's existing deals with record labels for its Play Music service.
Now Billboard reports that the service may have hit a few snags on its way to launch. The outlet says a recent interview with a Google exec briefed on the plans revealed that the service had been pushed to "the second quarter or beyond," having originally been planned for launch earlier this year.
The feeling, according to people familiar with the thinking at YouTube, is that the service should be a more polished product with a clear, differentiated focus that can stand out against its rivals. "They feel that there's just too much scrutiny of this product, and that they need to get it right out of the gate," said a senior label executive who declined to be named because the discussions are confidential.
Billboard suggests that a major challenge faced by the service is finding a way to integrate it seamlessly into YouTube's existing free services. And it also remains unclear a paid YouTube music service might tie into Google's existing subscription music offering, Google Play Music.